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April 14th, 2012

Podcast 151: Most people above age 10 have at least some cross-reactive antibodies to variant influenza

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Influenza A (H3N2)v — a novel flu virus that emerged last summer and shows signs of being able to transmit itself from person to person — is our topic this week.

The virus carries genes from swine and avian flu viruses, and the few cases found in the U.S. all made complete recovery.

We talk with CDC epidemiologists involved in assessing the threat, and they’re reassuring on two fronts: first of all, most of the population shows at least some cross-reactive antibody to the virus; and second, they’ve isolated a candidate vaccine virus that they would use in the event that A (H3N2)v started showing increased ability for person-to-person transmission.

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