A Maui pig worker is Hawaii's first confirmed case of an unusual swine flu strain that has been detected in only six mainland states in the past year.
The Honolulu Star reports that the Hawaii Agriculture Department plans to take nasal swabs of a ‘couple’ of pig herds on Maui looking for evidence of the H3N2v virus, said state veterinarian Dr James Foppoli.
Since August 2011, the H3N2v virus has only been found in 17 patients on the mainland United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "If we find an infected herd, our recommendation is to not move the animals to make sure there's no more transmission in the herd, and then they will be OK to go to slaughter once they're well," Foppoli said.
"Human-to-human transmission is uncommon, so that's not a likely source. You've got to suspect that there's a pig intermediate somewhere along the line where the person got the virus."
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late last week confirmed Hawaii's first case of the H3N2v virus after the unidentified, adult Maui resident sought medical attention upon experiencing symptoms consistent with the regular seasonal flu, including fever, cough and body aches, the Health Department said. The patient fully recovered.
• Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
• Honolulu Star