What is the H3N2v flu virus?

H3N2v is a nonhuman influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and that has infected humans. Viruses that normally circulate in pigs are “swine influenza viruses.” When these viruses infect humans, they are termed “variant” viruses.

In 2011, a specific H3N2 virus was detected with genes from avian, swine, and human viruses and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus M gene. The virus was circulating in pigs in 2010 and was first detected in people in 2011.The acquisition of the 2009 M gene may make this virus infect humans more easily than is typical for other swine influenza viruses. There were 12 human infections with this virus, termed H3N2v, in 2011; most were associated with exposure to pigs. In 2012, H3N2v outbreaks in humans associated with exposure to pigs began in July.

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