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Influenza A(H1N2) - Part 1

Influenza A(H1N2) 2001-2002
Image revised 30 May 2009

Installed 23 March 2002 - Latest Update 30 Dec 2016.

The globe above shows (in red) states and countries where the new influenza strain A(H1N2) has been identified (isolated) during the 2001-2002 influenza season. (Where known, the numbers of cases are shown in superscript.) As of 30 August 2002, the season total for A(H1N2) in Canada was 72. See the update near the end of the article.

(More graphical info is located in Parts three and four of this article.)
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) may be effective in combatting influenza.

News and Information on Influenza A(H1N2) and Possibly Related Illnesses

"Possibly Related" refers to unusual (media interest) illness outbreaks. (Really new illnesses may not conform to our expectations or prescribed surveillance protocols.) References found with the on-line resource LEXIS-NEXIS® Academic Universe are indicated by the abbreviation (LNAU).

(This page is a follow-on to Global Developments: Spring-Summer 2001).

20 November 2001 - Philippines - Manila.
Philippine Health secretary says that the flu which hit Metro Manila schools (in the first week of October 2001) was influenza type B, not A, as earlier reported. Throat swabs showed that the virus was not Influenza AH1N1. Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer - Financial Times Information - (LNAU). (This virus identity crisis may merit special scrutiny. See the 18 January 2002 and 6 February entries for England.)

11 December 2001 - China - Beijing.
Two new influenza viruses emerge in Beijing. Experts do not expect a large scale outbreak. The story also reports long lines of influenza patients in the People's Hospital. Source: Xinhua News Agency - (LNAU).

9 January 2002 - China
China's CDC reports that flu is becoming full blown. Viruses are mostly of the Moscow and Caledonia strains. Symptoms include high-grade fever, muscle aches, headache and persistent cough, with some diarrhea. Young children are contracting rotavirus infection which leads to vomiting and diarrhea. Source: China Post - Financial Times Information - (LNAU). (See the 13 April 2002 United States - Virginia entry.)

18 January 2002 - England
Outbreak of flu-like illness in a Cornwall comprehensive school. [No longer available.]. About half the students are suffering respiratory symptoms but initial tests for influenza are negative. Further tests are underway. A second outbreak has occurred in a school in Scotland. Source: Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) - Infectious Diseases in the News.
[For material on UK infectious diseases, see: Health Protection Agency infection pages.]

5 February 2002 - China - Hong Kong.
64,000 chickens to be killed at a poultry farm in Kam Tin after 1,000 there died of suspected bird flu over the weekend. Tests are being conducted to see if the virus could affect humans. Source: Hong Kong Imail - World Sources, Inc. - (LNAU).

6 February 2002 - England.
WHO announces the isolation of a new strain of influenza virus- A(H1N2) - [No longer available.] - "The new strain has been so far been isolated from humans in England, Israel, and Egypt in the last few weeks. A similar event is reported to have occurred in China in the 1988/1989 influenza season when a number of influenza isolates were detected which were determined to have arisen as a result of reassortment. Further spread of these reassortment viruses in humans did not occur at that time." - Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) - Infectious Diseases in the News.

(For an overview of the earlier China findings, see Study on the origin of influenza A(H1N2) virus HA and NA genes [No longer available.] Report was in Chinese and English.)

At present this writer does not know the onset date for the 1988 appearance of H1N2 in China. (In this study Venus is a hypothetical source for new strains of influenza.) Venus passed between the sun and Earth on about 13 June that year. See: Calculated Dates of Venus Inferior Conjunctions. A search is underway to see how active the solar wind (the proposed transport mechanism) was at the same time. [Added 12 July 2002.] The H1N2 strain in China was identifed in December 1988. If that date corresponds to the initial outbreak then there would have been approximately 180 days between the 13 June inferior conjunction and the outbreak. [Added 28 May 2004.]

7 February 2002 - United States - Wisconsin.
Unusual Influenza Strain Identified in Wisconsin - [No longer available.] - A six month old child in Outagamie county became ill in December 2001 and has made a complete recovery. No additional cases have been detected. "The evolution of this virus, which has been named A/Wisconsin/12/2001(H1N2), appears to have resulted from the combination or "reassortment" of the genes of the currently circulating A/New Caledonia(H1N1) and the A/Moscow(H3N2) strains of influenza A." - Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services - Reference Center - 07 February 2002.

8 February 2002 - Europe.
First isolation of influenza A(H1N2) in Europe "In England, influenza A(H1N2) has been isolated for the first time in Europe. Isolates have come from both hospital and community sources, including three school outbreaks. Most of the cases so far have been in the 5-14 year age range. The A(H1N2) subtype has also been isolated in Scotland: one of the four typed isolates of this winter is an H1N2 and the three others are H3N2." European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS) - Week 5: 27/01/2002-03/02/2002 - Issue No. 54. (No H1N1 isolates are mentioned.) [Link to source no longer works. 5 Sep 2011]

England - PHLS Disease Facts - Influenza - (Updated as necessary.)
Frequently asked questions on Flu -Influenza A (H1N2) - [No longer available.]
Q   Where has this new strain come from?
A   The precise origin of the new strain is not known. The World Health Organization through its global influenza programme has reported that viruses of the new strain of influenza A have so far been identified in Egypt and Israel. Influenza A virus isolates from England, that have been submitted to the PHLS national influenza reference laboratory in London during this winter, have been examined. Many have also been found to be of the H1N2 subtype. In addition, isolates of the H1N2 strain have also continued to circulate both in England and in other countries. ...

9 February 2002 - Canada - International info.
"L'OMS et le Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) du Royaume-Uni ont rapporté une récente identification d'une souche humaine d'influenza A(H1N2) en Angleterre, en Israël et en Egypte. De plus, un virus d'influenza A(H1N2) a été identifié aux E.-U., au Wisconsin, d'un spécimen prélevé d'un patient en décembre 2001." Source: FluWatch - édition française 3 février au 9 février 2002 (semaine 06) - Canada.
Link http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fluwatch/01-02/w06_02/index_f.html no longer works. [10 Jan 2013]

11 February 2002 - United States - Wisconsin
"Officials identify new flu virus - Health officials have identified a new influenza virus in Wisconsin that they think resulted from a genetic scramble of two different flu strains that simultaneously infected a 6-month-old Outagamie County child." [Underline added for emphasis.]

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified state health officials this week that a sample collected on Dec. 7 from the child was a novel virus to be named A-Wisconsin/12.2001 (H1N2), a combination of the H1N1 New Caledonia and H3N2 Moscow strains."
Source: JSOnline Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. [Link no longer works.]

11 February 2002 - Finland
Uusi A-virusten alatyyppi H1N2 - [No longer available.] - News release containing an announcement of WHO findings of H1N2 viruses. Source: KTL, Mikrobiologian osatsto, influenssalaboratorio, Helsinki.

Influenza A(H1N2) - Part 2

14 February 2002 - United States.
"On February 6, 2002, WHO and the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) in the United Kingdom reported the recent identification of a new influenza virus strain, influenza A(H1N2), isolated from humans in England, Israel, and Egypt. In addition to the viruses reported by PHLS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified influenza A(H1N2) viruses from patient specimens collected during July, September, and December 2001 in Texas, Nevada, and Wisconsin, respectively." Source: CDC - National Center for Infectious Diseases - Influenza Summary Update Week ending February 9, 2002-Week 6.

Special note. Added on 29 May 2004.
The Texas, USA H1N2 specimen collected in July 2001 (14 Feb entry above) was preceded by an isolation in India on 30 May 2001. In a CDC report(1), on H1N2, researchers reported: "Among the H1N2 viruses we identified, the earliest isolate was A/India/66139/2001 (30 May 2001), which suggests that the reassortment event may have occurred in South Asia in early 2001 or earlier."

The 30 May India isolation falls, date-wise, right at the end of the author's lookout window of 30-60 days following the March 30th Venus inferior conjunction. See the non-prediction prediction in the opening paragraphs of Global Developments: Spring-Summer 2001.

In a later publication(1a) in the study above, the researchers reported, "Our data indicate that recent H1N2 viruses are unusually homogeneous antigenically and genetically, compared with circulating H1N1 viruses ... which indicates that the currently circulating H1N2 viruses may have been derived from a single reassortment event. [The author has seen no study regarding the rapid global distribution of H1N2. - Added 4 April 2005]

20 February 2002 - U.S.A. Cincinnati Ohio
Flu Scarce, but winter 'bugs' thrive In the past week, surges of patients have prompted local hospitals to go "on diversion" 55 times. ... During one three-hour stretch Monday afternoon, five hospitals were diverting patients at the same time: Bethesda North, Clermont Mercy, Christ, University and Mercy Franciscan-Western Hills. ...Instead of influenza, many Tristate residents have been coughing and sneezing their way through a variety of common viruses and bacterial infections that can result in anything from strep throat to pneumonia. In the vast majority of cases, doctors treat the symptoms without testing to pin down the exact bugs involved. (Used with permission.) Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Online edition

22 February 2002 - World Health Organization
Influenza activity, October 2001-February 2002 - Influenza A(H1N2) - From November to January, influenza A(H1N2) viruses were isolated from outbreaks or sporadic cases in Egypt, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, Czech Republic, Iceland, Mexico and Paraguay reported evidence of influenza A without identifying the subtype. Source: [PDF] WHO Weekly epidemiological record - 22 February 2002. 77th year, No. 8, 2002, 77, 57-68

23 Feb - 7 Mar 2002 - United States (Date uncertain.)
Flu Epidemic Sweeping Through DC School - Students suffering flu-like symptoms with pains as well as nausea and vomiting. Source: ABC 7 WJLA-TV - Posted on FluWatch.com Flu News. [No longer available.]

8 March 2002 - Global.
PDF Influenza A(H1N2) viruses (update) "Between September 2001 and February 2002 reassortant influenza A(H1N2) viruses have been isolated from outbreaks or sporadic cases in Canada, Egypt, France, India, Israel, Latvia, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States." Source: Weekly Epidemiological Record - 2002, 77, 77-80 - World Health Organization

20 March 2002 (Wednesday) - Colorado USA
180 students miss school on Tuesday in Castle Rock. - Missing students are victims of diarrhea, sore throats and vomiting. "More than 240 students, or a quarter of the student population, missed class on Monday." The school averages 50 absences per day in the winter.

According to the executive director of Tri-County Health Department, which serves Douglas County, just South of Denver, "All the kids have different symptoms, which tells us that they contracted different things." Other Douglas County schools, along with other metro-area school districts showed no noticeable increases in absences. Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
(LNAU) - World News - Search term: influenza.
[Douglas County Colorado was placed on the "no-activity" status by FluWatch.com back on 20 February 2002.]

22 March 2002 - Canada.
"Of the six A(H1) isolates identified antigenically, five were characterized by genetic analysis to be a new influenza A(H1N2) strain. The H1N2 strains were identified from specimens taken since December 2001 from patients in Alberta (1) Saskatchewan (2) and Manitoba (2)." Source: Week 10 issue of Canada's 2002 FluWatch. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fluwatch/01-02/w10_02/index.html [Link no longer works.]

For a news story possibly related to H1N2 in Alberta, see the 2 July 2001 entry in Global Developments: Spring-Summer 2001, Part II.

23 March 2002 - Europe.
"Up until the 21st of March 2002 (3:45pm), the EISS database had 5,820 laboratory-confirmed reports of influenza. ... A total of 44 cases of influenza A(H1N2) were reported to EISS: 30 (all sentinel) in England, 9 (all sentinel) in Ireland, 4 in France (3 sentinel and 1 non-sentinel) and 1 in Romania (sentinel). This means that only 3.1% of the subtyped influenza A reports in the EISS database were cases of influenza A(H1N2). Source: EISS Weekly Electronic Bulletin - Select Week 11, 2002. Link [http://www.eiss.org/cgi-files/bulletin_v2.cgi?season=2001] no longer works. 08 Jan 2013
Thanks to visitor in Richmond, Victoria, Australia.

Top

28 March 2002- Alaska
Asian Dust Reaches Alaska SeaWiFS view of Alaska and the Bering Sea, collected on March 28, 2002, shows snow and ice cover... Also visible are brownish patches near the center and lower right of this scene that appears to be dust from Asia. Image courtesy the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE.

28 March 2002 - United States - San Francisco
Bay skies to come alive with the dust of China/Gobi Desert... San Francisco Chronicle - 28 March 2002.
[Thanks to Michael Caprio, of Starkville Mississippi.]

28 March 2002 - California
Late-Season Flu Bug Strikes: An unexpected outbreak of Type B influenza has hit many of county's elementary, middle school students in the last two weeks. Symptoms include: body aches, headaches, fever (up to 104 F), dizziness, sore throats, coughing, extreme fatigue, upset stomachs (including diarrhea). Lasts three to four days instead of the usual seven. "Like the rolling virus." The problem which started around March 15th, seems to be concentrated in Southern California. - Source: Los Angeles Times - (LNAU) - World News - Search term: influenza.

30 March 2002 - United States - West Coast
U.S. landfall of big Asian dust storm a washout - Intense dust storm passing over Korea and Japan was greatly diluted by the time it reached the U.S. West coast. Source: USA TODAY - Weather

[Even though the dust storm seems to have visibly fizzled out, there was a peculiar peak in U.S. influenza activity which started a few days before what was left of the dust reached the West coast. (See the flu activity seasonal summaries graphic below, which follows the 2 May Wisconsin entry.) There might be a connection between the dust storm and the 15 March Southern California "late-season flu bug" (28 March entry) and the 19 March Colorado problems (20 March entry) . If so, then there may have been some, biologicial hitchhikers riding the front bumper, so to speak, of the dust storm.] (This note was installed on 28 July 2002.)

1 April 2001 - Scotland - Glasgow
Three patients in a Glasgow hospital died in a salmonella outbreak this winter and 300 other patients were victims of the so-called winter vomiting bug or gastric flu. A hygiene breach has been blamed. Source: The Herald (Glasgow).
(LNAU) - World News - Search term: influenza.

4 April 2002 - U.S.A. - Virginia
Flu Spurs Virginia to Wipe out Whole Flocks - First major outbreak of avian influenza to hit Shenandoah valley in two decades. Outbreak started two weeks ago.[Which would have been around 22 March] Farmers and veterinarians mystified. Source: Washington Post April 4, 2002; Page B1, Section: Metro.

9 April 2002 - Australia - Melbourne
Two recent unseasonal outbreaks of influenza A have occurred involving highly vaccinated residents in aged-care facilities in Melbourne Australia. Outbreaks were diagnosed as influenza A(H3N2).


                                             Statistics

Facility     Month    No. of    No. of     Attack     Pct     No. of     No. of     Attack      Pct
                     Patients    Cases      Rate     Vacc.    Staff      Cases      Rate        Vacc.

Hostel      January     42        19         45%      90%       29         6         21%         7%
Nursing H.   March      32        15*        47%     ~90%       28        10         36%        10%                

*One patient died


Genetically the strains differed sufficiently to indicate that the 2 outbreaks did not have a common source. [January and March are mid-summer in Australia.]
Source: http://www.influenzacentre.org/flunews.htm - [No longer available.] Posted on the ProMed-Mail Post on 9 April 2002.

Influenza A(H1N2) - Part 3

11 April 2002 - United States.
"CDC has antigenically characterized 420 influenza viruses collected from U.S. Laboratories since October 1: 279 influenza A(H3N2) viruses, 16 H1 viruses, and 125 influenza B viruses. ... Ten of the H1 viruses are H1N2 viruses collected in Wisconsin (December 2001 through February 2002) and Pennsylvania (February 2002). Two additional H1N2 viruses have been identified from patient specimens collected during July and September in Texas and Nevada respectively." Source: CDC - National Center for Infectious Diseases - Influenza Summary Update Week ending April 6, 2002-Week 14. Select Week 14 of 2002 in the Weekly Surveillance Reports for years 2001-2002.

11 April 2002 - England.
Outbreak of influenza in a religious community [No longer available.] "An outbreak of influenza A has been reported from a religious community in the south of England. Approximately 120 individuals of all ages, both male and female, have been affected so far in the outbreak from a population of 350. All individuals in the community are reported to have received influenza vaccination in autumn 2001. The date for the majority of cases was between 9 and 20 March 2002, although sporadic cases continue to be reported. Cases have generally presented with 'flu-like illness consisting of fever, cough, headache and malaise. No cases have needed hospital admission. Approximately 20 individuals have been treated therapeutically with zanamivir in line with current Government recommendations.

Investigations have been carried out by the local communicable disease control team and microbiology laboratories. Specimens have been submitted to the National Influenza Laboratory at the Enteric, Respiratory, and Neurological Virus Laboratory (ERNVL): influenza A subtype H3N2 has been confirmed in 16 out of 18 cases from which specimens have been examined. Further investigation of the outbreak is currently underway." Source: CDR Weekly - PHLS.

11 April 2002 - Europe.
"No new cases of influenza A(H1N2) were reported to EISS in week 14/2002." Source: EISS Weekly Electronic Bulletin - Week 14, 2002.
http://www.eiss.org/cgi-files/bulletin.cgi - [Link no longer works.]

13 April 2002 - United States -Virginia.
Contagious Illness at College Diagnosed. - [No longer available.] - Severe and highly contagious stomach flu, racks 120 students at women's college in Lynchburg., VA. Symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps and dehydration. Origin unknown. Source: Washington Post - Was: A4164-2002April12 (See the 9 January 2002 - China entry.)

[Note: These symptoms appear to be identical to those experienced by several people, adults and children, in the Columbus Mississippi area in April 2001. Those symptoms were coincident with the passing through of a dust storm from China.
See Global Developments: Spring Summer 2001 and The Pacific Dust Express.]

Another trans-Pacific dust storm was bearing down on the U.S. west coast about two weeks prior to the Lynchburg stomach flu outbreak. (See the 28 -30 March entries above.)

18 April 2002 - United States - Minnesota.
St. Cloud: Flu Outbreak Strikes Junior High - [No longer available.] Late-season outbreak "of the more serious Influenza B" leads to high absenteeism. Source: Yahoo! News - Was: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/4000/20020418/lo/1166755_1.html

24 April 2002 - Worldwide
Influenza B viruses currently circulating worldwide can be divided into two antigenically distinct lineages: B/Yamagata/16/88 and B/Victoria/2/87. B/Yamagata viruses have circulated widely since 1990, and the B component of the current influenza vaccine belongs to this lineage. Since 1991, B/Victoria viruses have not been identified outside of Asia. However, since March 2001, B/Victoria lineage viruses have been identified in many countries, including the United States. Of the 96 U.S. influenza B viruses characterized antigenically this season, 53 were of the B/Yamagata lineage, and 43 were of the B/Victoria lineage. Source:CDC MMWR 2002;51:276-279 (Reprinted in the Journal of the American Medical Association
JAMA April 24, 2002 -- Volume 287, No. 16, page 2068. - [No longer available.]
Was: http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n16/fpdf/jwr0424.pdf

24 April 2002 - United States - Alaska.
Flu-like symptoms hit Anchorage schools - [No longer available.]. A recent high rate of school absenteeism has lead to the speculation that flu might be mounting a late season attack on Anchorage. No flu confirmation yet by state epidemiologists. Source: MSNBC, Anchorage, AK. - Google news search.
Was: http://www.msnbc.com/local/ktuu/m175530.asp

25 April 2002 - Greece.
Greece Reports New Cases of Possible Killer Bug - [No longer available.] - A mystery virus has been blamed for several deaths. Schools in Athens shut down temporarily. Doctors are still trying to identify the strain of virus, which is thought to belong to the enterovirus group. Source: Reuters.com - Health News Coverage. (JAVA intensive site!)
Was: http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=healthnews&storyID=882321

- - -

The following two paragraphs and histograms were placed in this file on 26 April 2002 and modified on 29 April 2002.

It has widely been stated that the new A(H1N2) virus subtype appears to have arisen by reassortment of the two human viruses A(H1N1) and A(H3N2). With that possibility in mind, the following (edited to fit your printer and to equalize vertical scales for both seasons) histograms from the United States CDC* are provided. The graphs show that during the 2000-2001 flu season there was a substantial amount of A(H1N1) isolates found but extremely little A(H3N2). In 2001-2002 the situation was reversed -- very little A(H1N1) but a lot of A(H3N2).
*[CDC link http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/weekly.htm - needs updating.]

Comparison of flu seasons

Three questions arise. Where and when were there sufficient quantities of the two subtypes intermingling, in order for the reassortment process to take place? Were there multiple reassortment sites around the globe? Is there any evidence of migration from the various points of origin of the new subtype? (These may be the wrong questions.)

Top

2 May 2002 - Wisconsin USA
Influenza A(H1N2) Viruses in Wisconsin - [No longer available.] - The initial Wisconsin isolate was recovered from a specimen collected December 7, 2001 from a six month old child [in Outagamie county]. Eight additional A(H1N2) isolates were detected between January 11 and February 11, 2002 from patients aged 9 through 31 years. Seven of these came from St. Vincent Hospital in Greenbay [Brown county]. All of the Wisconsin H1N2 isolates to date have been from [the] two adjacent counties. Source: Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, Madison, WI. [Names of counties added.]
Was: http://www.virology.org/Newsletter/May02/May0205.html


H1N2 Counties
in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin counties where H1N2 viruses were isolated (Outagamie and Brown) were never listed as active on FluWatch.com during the 2001-2002 flu season. The locations of the counties that were listed as such are shown as green dots.

The following diagram shows a comparison of reported activity for the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 flu seasons. It is derived mainly from the FluWatch.com '01-'02 Trend Map [Was: http://www.fluwatch.com/trendmap.html] and from FluWatch.com daily reports [Was: http://www.fluwatch.com]. Activity levels shown in slightly darker colors are based on archived data furnished by the National Flu Surveillance Network. (NFSN).

The lighter grey background area corresponds to the October 1 - March 31 time frame of the FluWatch Trend Map. (Levels for Rhode Island and the District of Columbia are omitted in the parts derived from the Trend Map because their images there are too small to be used unambiguously.)

The purpose for showing the seasonal patterns here, is to look for unusual influenza activity, i.e., unexpected bumps or valleys, especially in the first month or two following the March 30, 2001 Venus inferior conjunction with its accompanying solar storm. See the introductory section of Global Developments: Spring-Summer 2001. [Inserted on 9 July 2002. Latest update was on 25 July 2002.]

One bump of interest on the above graph starts toward the end of March 2002 and tapers off in early April. (See the orange colored alert activity.) Coincident with the bump was a diluted dust storm which was moving across the U.S. from West to East. It had originated in Asia. (See the entries for 20 -30 March above.) Now, there may be no connection between the arrival of the Asian dust and a few odd late season influenza-like outbreaks (false cause is easy), but on the other hand the beginning of The First Wave of the 1918 influenza Pandemic, at least at Fort Riley in Kansas, was accompanied by a significant dust storm.

What might have been a pre-season influenza herald event in the United States took place in July through September of 2001. (See the first graph in the section USA Influenza 2001-2002 - Part 2.)

That nationwide flurry of summer activity (in 2001) may have been related to other late season global influenza-like activity. See the 14 April 2001 (Pakistan) and 23 May 2001 (Indonesia) entries on the Global Developments: Spring - Summer 2001- Part I page. [Added 29 June 2002. Re-worked on 9 July 2002]

29 May 2002 - Canada - Alberta
For chronological stats on A(H1N2) in Alberta, Canada, see Alberta's Viral Watch. [Link no longer works.]

Influenza A(H1N2) - Part 4

31 May 2002 - Canada - PPHB
Infectious Diseases News Brief - Influenza: Canada -[Link no longer applicable.] During the period of 26 August 2001 - 4 May 2002, Health Canada has received 49,461 reports of laboratory tests for influenza: 5,801 (12.2%) were positive for influenza A and 785 were positive for influenza B. The National Microbiology Laboratory antigenically characterized 452 influenza isolates to date this season: 310 were A(H3N2); 18 were A(H1); 124 were influenza B. Of the 18 A(H1) isolates identified antigenically, 17 were characterized by genetic analysis to be a new influenza A(H1N2) strain. The H1N2 strains were identified from specimens taken since December 2001 from patients in Alberta (seven), Saskatchewan (eight) and Manitoba (two). Source: Health Canada - Public and Public Health Branch (PPHB)

03 June 2002
The following reconstituted graphic shows the total numbers of WHO FluNet - [No longer available.] specimens analyzed in the United States during the periods of Jan - May 2001 and Jan - May 2002. It can be seen that there was, in fact, low level but significant flu related/suspected activity during the month of May (and probably carrying over into June) of 2001.
Was: http://oms2.b3e.jussieu.fr/flunet/activity.html - There may be a new link.

WHO Published weekly summaries are curtailed at the end of week 20.

Copies of the WHO FluNet monthly graphs used in the preparation of the above summaries may be viewed by clicking on the following links.

  2001: JAN 01 - FEB 01 - MAR 01 - APR 01 - MAY 01
  2001: JAN 02 - FEB 02 - MAR 02 - APR 02 - MAY 02

08 June 2002 - United States - New Jersey
Mystery Rash Surfaces at South Jersey High School - About 80 students at Gateway Regional High School have exhibited a red blotchy rash. Rash disappears soon after students leave the school.   Source: (AP) (Woodbury Heights, N.J.) - www.kyw.com/Top Stories, Courtesy of the Drudge Report.
Was: http://kyw.com/news/StoryFolder/story_1630778394_html

This writer chooses to see a possible geographical and/or timing relation between the recent school rash outbreaks and influenza. (This is meant to imply that influenza may be part of a package deal in which a spectrum of bad bugs, bacteria, viruses, etc., make concerted/associated appearances.

This is getting out on a limb, but there may be some architectural or heating/cooling system similarities (in principle) between the buildings where student school rash outbreaks have occurred (students have to be in/or near the structures for the rashes to appear) and the buildings where outbreaks of legionnaires' disease have occurred. (For example: open air water cooling towers.) This does not imply that the same factors are involved, rather that for the school rashes there may be some common factors, as there have been found for the legionnaires disease locales. See the article: "The Spread of Respiratory Disease in Office Buildings" - [Link no longer works.] Aerobiological Engineering - Pennsylvania State University - Graduate School of Architectural Engineering & Department of Biology.

The presumption, here, is that the bad bugs are being delivered by "air mail." (Sender's address is presently ambiguous.) Although not documented yet in these web pages, there seems to be a remarkable correlation between Venus inferior conjunctions and the onsets of new waves of legionnaires' disease which occur about 30-60 days later.. Add new outbreaks of West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Equine Encephalitis to the list.

Material on West Nile Virus was moved to a new section on 20 August 2002.

8 June 2002 - Australia
Lack of influenza A(H1) in Australia so far this winter - Interestingly, during the winter of 2002 in Australia to date, there have been no isolates of the influenza A(H1) subtype. The last time this was recorded in Australia was in the period 1996-1998 when no influenza A(H1) strains were isolated. The reason for these fluctuations in influenza A subtype are not fully understood but are probably due to a number of factors such as the lower rate of antigenic change seen with this subtype of influenza compared to the A(H3) subtype. Source: WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference & Research on Influenza - Melbourne, Australia. - (Added to page on 16 August 2002) [Site shows info for current flu seasons.]

12 June 2002 - CDC National Center for Infectious Disease
Influenza A(H1N2) Viruses Identified [Was: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/factsheetH1N2.htm] 2002 report may be somewhere on this site.]
On February 6, 2002, World Health Organization (WHO) and the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) in the United Kingdom reported the recent identification of a new influenza virus strain, influenza A(H1N2), isolated from humans in England, Israel, and Egypt. In addition to the viruses reported by PHLS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified influenza A(H1N2) virus from patient specimens collected during July 2001 through April 2002 in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. Influenza A(H1N2) viruses have been identified in the past. Between December 1988 and March 1989, 19 influenza A(H1N2) viruses were identified in 6 cities in China, but the virus did not spread further. [Underlined locales are newly announced.]

As of this date (7 July 2002) this writer has no information regarding the dates or numbers of cases for New York, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. For a news item possibly related to the appearance of H1N2 in Hawaii, see the 2 August 2001 entry on the Global Developments: Spring - Summer 2001, Part II.

30 August 2002 -Influenza: Canada (Update) [Site shows current influenza info.]
The National Microbiology Laboratory has antigenically characterized 553 influenza isolates from 30 September 2001 to 10 August 2002 of the following subtypes: 333 A(H3N2); 72 A(H1N2); one A(H1N1); 147 influenza B. The 72 A(H1N2) isolates were antigenically characterized by genetic analysis and determined to be a new influenza A(H1N2) strain. ...Of the influenza B viruses characterized to date, five are B/Sichuan/379/99-like and 142 are B/Hong Kong/22/01-like. ... The B/Hong Kong/22/01-like viruses belong to another lineage of influenza viruses, the B/Victoria/02/87 lineage, which last circulated in Canada in the 1988-1989 season. [Emphasis added.]
Source: FluWatch, 28 July to 10 August 2002 (Week 31 and 32), Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control; National Microbiology Laboratory, Health Canada.

The Canadian statistics do not support the idea of A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) reassorting to produce A(H1N2). (See the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 histograms for the USA above.) Also, it appears that the new A(H1N2) virus and the surprise drop-in of B/Hong Kong/22/01 virus each exercised something like a territorial imperative with respect to their assumed competitors.

Recommended Reading

New Clues to Deadly Flus - ScienceNow - 6 Sep 2001

Qi Junlin, WANG Min, DONG Jie, et al., http://www.37c.com.cn/literature/analecta/data/zhsyhlcbdxzz/200001/008.html Study on the origin of influenza A(H1N2) virus HA and NA genes - [No longer available.] - Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Beijing 100052. (Publication year is 1995 or later.)

References

(1) Xiyan Xu, Catherine B. Smith, Bruce A. Mungall, Stephen E. Lindstrom, Henrietta E. Hall, Kanta Subbarao, Nancy J. Cox, and Alexander Klimov. "Intercontinental Circulation of Human Influenza A(H1N2) Viruses during the 2001-2002 Influenza Season," - [PDF] http://www.daimi.au.dk/~roald/evolutionary_virology/week8/Xu_Inf_reass_02.pdf - [No longer available.] - Concise Communication, Influenza Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta Georgia. Page 490.

(1a) Xiyan Xu, Catherine B. Smith, Bruce A. Mungall, Stephen E. Lindstrom, Henrietta E. Hall, Kanta Subbarao, Nancy J. Cox, and Alexander Klimov. "Intercontinental Circulation of Human Influenza A(H1N2) Reassortant Viruses during the 2001-2002 Influenza Season," - Concise Communication, Influenza Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta Georgia. - The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2002;186:1490-1493. [Added 4 April 2005.]
[Was: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/344738] - Thanks to the researcher in Pune, Marshtra, India, for searching Google.com for "Bruce Mungall" today.]

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