(CTN News) – CDC officials plan to examine samples collected from pigs that diedBrazil, the World Health Organization announced.
There have been occasional cases of H1N1 swine flu “spillovers” among people who have come into contact with infected pigs throughout the world.
However, it is unclear how the patient in this case contracted the virus. There was no direct contact between the patient, who is 42 years old and lives in the Brazilian state of Paraná, and pigs.
The investigators found that two of her close contacts worked at a nearby pig farm, but both have tested negative for influenza and have not displayed any respiratory symptoms.
In light of the information currently available, WHO considers this to be a sporadic case, and there is no evidence of person-to-person transmission. The WHO stated in a statement published Friday that it is unlikely that disease will spread at community level among humans and/or internationally through humans.
Based on initial analysis of the sample by Brazilian health authorities, it has been confirmed that the virus responsible for this death is H1N1. The sample is closely related to previous samples of H1N1 that have been detected in the region.
“To date, sporadic human infections caused by influenza A(H1N1)v and A(H1N2)v viruses have been reported in Brazil, with no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission,” the WHO said.
CDC spokesperson stated that the agency had not yet received the specimen from Brazilian authorities. In the WHO’s global flu surveillance program, the CDC is one of seven “collaborating centers.”
CDC researchers sequence thousands of flu virus sequences each year, comparing their genes with previous variants that have infected animals and humans.
As the summer approaches, the Biden administration plans to intensify efforts to detect the spread of these potentially deadly new strains of influenza.
Along with the growing threat posed by the spread of bird across the Americas, previous years have also seen cases of “novel influenza virus infections” after humans contacted animals at agricultural fairs.
“Given the severity of illness of the recent human cases, the CDC has also been discussing with partners the possibility of increasing surveillance efforts among severely ill persons in the intensive care unit during the summer, when seasonal influenza activity is otherwise low,” Carrie Reed explained at a webinar with testing laboratories.
According to recent CDC analysis of a severe bird flu infection of a Chilean man earlier this year, it appears that the virus may have acquired a change that would make it more likely to spread to humans in the future.