The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has reported that no further cases of influenza A(H1N2)v have been found in humans, following the recent discovery of the strain in a person in North Yorkshire.
The discovery of the flu strain that is currently circulating in pigs in the UK in a human has inevitably raised some concerns.
This was first case of Influenza A(H1N2)v detected in a human in the UK, although it has been reported elsewhere, including in Europe and the US. The 75-year-old individual experienced a mild illness and has fully recovered.
UKHSA has has published its investigation findings on the recent case, which was detected as part of routine national flu surveillance undertaken by UKHSA and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). The virus was identified by UKHSA on November 23 using genome sequencing.
Rapid work has been underway to learn more about the virus and its characteristics, including how it may have been acquired and whether it may have spread.
There remains only one human case of influenza A(H1N2)v in England. No further cases have been detected through investigations, including follow-up of contacts to date and enhanced surveillance through local GP practices and hospital trusts.
Although the virus is similar to those detected in pigs in England and the case lives in a region containing pig farms, no direct contact between the case and any animal was reported. Enhanced surveillance will continue over the coming weeks as a precaution.
UKHSA Incident Director Dr Meera Chand said: “This is the first time we have detected this virus in humans in the UK. Since the virus was confirmed we have been working rapidly to learn more about it and how it might have been acquired.
“Investigations to date have not identified any further human cases and sporadic cases of influenza from swine viruses are known to occur.
“The identification of this case highlights the importance of our flu surveillance and genomic sequencing in helping us to identify and learn more about new viruses.”