CDC: New Swine Flu Strain Sickens 158
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The CDC is getting the word out about a new swine flu strain that has sickened 158 people, primarily at state fairs where they are coming into contact with sick pigs that are being exhibited. (Aug. 10)

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"SO THE VIRUSES ARE SIMILAR IN SOME WAYS IN THE FACT THAT THEY CAME FROM PIGS, THEY CAN INFECT HUMANS, CAUSE DISEASE IN HUMANS. THE BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM IS WHILE H1NI _ THE PANDEMIC VIRUS _ SPREAD EASILY BETWEEN HUMANS AND THEREFORE CAUSED A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, SO FAR AT LEAST, THE H3N2 VARIANT VIRUS SPREADS BETWEEN PIGS AND HUMANS BUT DOESN'T CONTINUE TO SPREAD TO HUMANS AND THEREFORE IS LESSER RISK TO PEOPLE WHO AREN'T EXPOSED TO PIGS.// ONE OF THE REASONS WE THINK THIS VIRUS SPREADS SO SUCCESSFULLY BETWEEN PIGS AND HUMANS COMPARED TO OTHER SWINE VIRUSES IS THAT THE H3N2 VARIANT VIRUS HAS ACQUIRED THE M GENE WHICH IS A GENE FROM THE PANDEMIC VIRUS THAT MAY ALLOW IT TO SPREAD MORE EFFICIENTLY INTO HUMANS AND MAYBE AMONG HUMANS.// THE THING WE WORRY THE MOST ABOUT WITH A NON-HUMAN VIRUS _ INFLUENZA VIRUS _ ENTERS THE HUMAN HOST IS IT WOULD DEVELOP THE ABILITY TO SPREAD EFFICIENTLY BETWEEN HUMANS. RIGHT NOW THIS VIRUS _ THE H3N2 VARIANT VIRUS _ ONLY SPREADS BETWEEN PIGS AND HUMANS. WE HAVEN'T YET SEEN THE ABILITY TO SPREAD EFFICIENTLY OR IN A SUSTAINED WAY BETWEEN HUMANS.//IT'S THE TIME OF YEAR NOW WHERE SEASONAL FLU VACCINE CAMPAIGNS ARE ONGOING. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE KNOW TWO THINGS. FIRST, GET YOUR SEASONAL FLU VACCINE. FLU IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST HUMAN INFLUENZA. THE SEASONAL FLU VACCINE IS NOT A GOOD WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THIS VARIANT VIRUS. BUT THAT'S OK BECAUSE WE KNOW THE RISK FACTOR FOR GETTING THIS VARIANT VIRUS IS EXPOSURE TO PIGS. AND SO YOU DON'T NEED THE VACCINE TO PROTECT YOU WE JUST NEED TO INSURE THAT YOU PRACTICE SAFE PRACTICES WHEN EXPOSED TO PIGS. WASH YOUR HANDS, STAY AWAY FROM SICK PIGS. THINGS LIKE THAT SHOULD DO THE TRICK.//WHENEVER A NOVEL INFLUENZA VIRUS ENTERS THE HUMAN POPULATION AND CAUSES DISEASE THE FIRST THING WE THINK ABOUT IS THAT IT MAY DEVELOP THE ABILITY TO SPREAD EFFICIENTLY BETWEEN HUMANS AND MAYBE A PANDEMIC RISK. WHEN THAT HAPPENS WHAT WE DO IS START THE PROCESS O MAKE A VACCINE AGAINST IT JUST IN CASE WE NEED IT. WE'VE STARTED THAT PROCESS HERE, WE'VE MADE A VACCINE CANDIDATE. WE'VE SHARED THAT VACCINE CANDIDATE WITH MANUFACTURERS WHO HAVE MADE SOME VACCINE TO BE USED IN HUMAN TRIALS THIS FALL.//WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT ALL THE CASES THAT HAVE ACQUIRED THIS VIRUS SO FAR HAVE BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH PIGS. AND SO THE RISK FACTOR FOR GETTING THIS VIRUS IS DIRECT OR INDIRECT CONTACT WITH SICK PIGS, NOT FROM EATING PIG MEAT. AND SO SAFELY PREPARED PORK MEAT IS NOT A RISK FACTOR FOR GETTING THE DISEASE."[SIGOUT/REPORTER, LOCATION, ASSOCIATED PRESS]VIDEO SOURCE: AP TelevisionVIDEO RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only