11 July : Canadian officials said on Tuesday they had identified yet another new flu virus, this one a mixture of human and swine influenzas, in two farm workers in Western Canada.The new virus did not make the two workers seriously ill and is not related to the current H1N1 pandemic influenza strain, the Public Health Agency of Canada said on Tuesday.The two workers, both employees at a hog barn operation in the province of Saskatchewan, have fully recovered.A third case is under investigation.
”Preliminary results indicate the risk to public health is low and that Canadians who have been vaccinated against the regular, seasonal flu should have some immunity to this new flu strain,” Canada’s health minister, Leona Aglukkaq, said in a statement.
The new virus contains genes from a seasonal human H1N1 flu strain and a flu virus common in the swine population called triple reassortant H3N2, said Dr Greg Douglas, Saskatchewan’s chief veterinary officer.
The workers have been in Saskatchewan for about one year and had not recently traveled, said Dr Moira McKinnon, Saskatchewan’s chief medical officer.
Dr Frank Plummer, chief science adviser for the Public Health Agency of Canada said the new virus was likely transmitted from the pigs to the workers.
More than a dozen countries have banned Canadian hogs or pork since the quarantine.
Bob Harding, executive director of the Canadian Swine Health Board, said there is concern that markets could misinterpret the new virus’s connection to swine.