U experts weigh in on recent cases of a new swine flu virus reported in U.S.
Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that seven people in California and Texas have been diagnosed with a new and unusual strain of swine influenza. Only a few of the seven people were in contact with one another and none were in direct contact with pigs. This information has led the CDC to determine that this strain of the virus is able to spread person-to-person, a characteristic uncommon of a swine flu virus. University of Minnesota experts on influenza are:
Michael Osterholm, professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health
Osterholm can discuss public health concerns, how public health investigations regarding potential emerging pandemics are conducted, the criteria for a pandemic, and the business preparedness aspects of pandemic influenza. He is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). For additional information and resources, visit CIDRAP's pandemic flu Web site at http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/index.html
Marie Gramer, assistant clinical professor of veterinary population medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota
As a diagnostician and researcher in the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Gramer can discuss her research involving the antigenic and genetic characterization of swine influenza viruses (SIV), pathogenesis of SIV infections in pigs and the possible impact these viruses may have on pig health.
To interview this expert, contact the University News Service, (612) 624-5551.