West Virginia has had two confirmed cases of a variant of the swine flu in children attending the same daycare in Mineral County, the state Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services said.
One case of H3N2v was detected in mid-November, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC. The other case was detected later that same month.
The cases "caused mild illness and the children involved have fully recovered," Loretta Haddy, state epidemiologist and director of the state Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services, said in an email.
"We are continuing to work with our partners across the state looking for H3N2v through increased surveillance efforts," Haddy said.
H3N2v is an influenza A (H3N2) variant virus with genes from human, swine and avian lineages," according to the CDC.
"All flu can be serious and it is unpredictable," she said. "Each year we know that about 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu-related illness and as many as 36,000 people die in the U.S from flu. Illness associated with flu ranges from moderate to severe, so knowing how to prevent or reduce spread is important.
"We want to remind everyone to get a flu shot if they have not had one already," Haddy said. "During flu season it is important to remember that we all need to cover our coughs and sneezes, throw away used tissues, and wash our hands frequently to help reduce or prevent the spread of illness.
"If someone is ill, then they should consider seeking treatment or at a minimum stay home from work, school or other public places such as daycare until their condition improves.
"Flu season typically peaks in West Virginia during February or March each year," she said. "While the flu shot may not protect someone against H3N2v specifically, it will help protect the person from other flu strains that are expected to be circulating."
In addition to the two cases detected in West Virginia, Indiana and Maine each reported two cases of H3N2v between Aug. 17 and Dec. 23 and Pennsylvania and Iowa each reported three cases, according to the CDC.
Of the 12 total cases reported, 11 were in children. Six of the 12 patients had no identified recent exposure to swine. "Three of the 12 patients were hospitalized, and all have recovered fully," the CDC said.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.