A New Swine-Flu Vaccine
The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is preparing a vaccine for a new strain of the deadly swine flu, trying to avoid a repeat of the 2009 pandemic.
The agency said that even though over the past two years there have been only 29 cases of the H3N2 strain of the virus, 16 of them have been reported in the last three weeks. All of the patients had had contact with pigs.
At this stage, though, H3N2 is still “principally a swine virus,” according to Dr. Joseph Bresee of the CDC’s influenza division. But officials are concerned about it spreading en masse to humans because it shares a “matrix gene” with the H2N1 virus, making it easier to pass from person to person.
So, Bresee said at a news conference "A H3N2 candidate vaccine has been prepared and clinical trials are being planned for this year.”
In 2009, the swine-flu pandemic caused worldwide concern. China quarantined people returning from flu-stricken countries, some airline attendants wore face masks, and hundreds of children died in the United States.