Alberta public well being and agriculture officers are investigating after the primary case in Canada of a uncommon swine flu variant was detected final month in a central Alberta affected person.
The case is barely the 27th on the planet since 2005, Chief Medical Officer of Well being Dr. Deena Hinshaw mentioned in a joint assertion Wednesday with Dr. Keith Lehman, chief provincial veterinarian.
“A confirmed case of variant Influenza A (H1N2)v has been detected in central Alberta,” Hinshaw and Lehman mentioned within the assertion.
“This at the moment seems to be one remoted case and there’s no elevated threat to Albertans right now. That is the one influenza case reported in Alberta to date this flu season.”
At a information convention Wednesday, Hinshaw mentioned the virus was detected in mid-October when a affected person with influenza-like signs sought medical therapy at a hospital emergency division.
“We’re taking this critically, as any human an infection with a non-seasonal influenza virus must be adopted up beneath our worldwide obligations,” she mentioned.
A pattern collected from the affected person was examined for influenza and for COVID-19 as a part of a routine course of, Hinshaw mentioned.
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“On this explicit case there was nothing concerning the presentation or the historical past that indicated any totally different concern than anybody else presenting with an higher respiratory tract kind an infection — influenza-like sickness signs,” she mentioned.
“As a part of our typical lab course of, at any time when we get an influenza constructive, particularly early within the season, a part of the method is to maneuver by right into a typing, to know what kind it’s, and as part of that course of it was recognized that it was a non-seasonal pressure.”
The affected person adopted by with a suggestion to remain dwelling for 10 days, Hinshaw mentioned.
Public well being investigation underway
Well being officers, working with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, have launched a public well being investigation to find out the supply of the virus and to confirm that no unfold occurred.
The province mentioned it should proceed working intently with Alberta Well being Companies, the Public Well being Company of Canada and different companions throughout Canada.
Hinshaw mentioned central Alberta COVID-19 samples from the previous two weeks are being examined retrospectively for influenza. That testing is sort of full and no influenza-positive samples have been discovered, she mentioned.
“Beginning in the present day, AHS can even proactively provide influenza testing to residents of components of central Alberta if they’re presenting for COVID-19 testing at an AHS testing centre,” Hinshaw mentioned. “This testing shall be non-obligatory and helps our ongoing influenza surveillance within the area.”
Variant Influenza A (H1N2) is uncommon,with solely 27 circumstances reported globally since 2005, and no circumstances in Canada previous to this one, Hinshaw and Lehman mentioned of their assertion.
Hinshaw instructed the information convention it’s “fairly uncommon” to see transmission of the sickness from people to animals or from animals to people. With biosecurity measures in place, there is “very restricted alternative for influenza from swine to transmit to people,” she mentioned.
Nearly all of circumstances reported within the final decade have been in the US. These circumstances have been “very delicate and self-limiting,” Hinshaw mentioned.
H1N2 shouldn’t be a food-related sickness and isn’t transmissible to individuals by pork meat or different merchandise that come from pigs. There isn’t any threat related to consuming pork, Hinshaw mentioned.
She mentioned no hyperlinks have been discovered between the influenza case and any slaughterhouses.
Lehman instructed the information convention it is not uncommon to see influenza in Alberta swine populations. He mentioned the province sees between 10 and 30 circumstances per quarter, or between 40 and 120 circumstances annually.
He mentioned it’s not unusual for the sickness to be in a herd with none indicators of scientific illness. When it does present up it’s usually delicate, he mentioned.