A human case of an H1N2 variant has been identified in Manitoba after the person tested negative for COVID-19.

The province of Manitoba says an isolated case of a new H1N2 (influenza A) flu virus variant has been found. This flu virus is commonly circulated among pigs.

"Influenza viruses from pigs do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with influenza viruses that normally circulate in pigs have occurred," the province says in a Thursday statement. "Based on available evidence, the current assessment is that there is no increased risk to people, with no evidence of human-to-human transmission at this time."

The province says there is no risk to Manitobans, Canadians or the food supply chain at this time. The affected person had direct exposure to pigs. The variant was first detected in October when the person has sought testing for an influenza-like illness.

"The test came back negative for COVID-19, but was later identified as a case of human influenza A(H1N2)v through regular influenza surveillance processes."

It has been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The province says they have identified the source of the spread.

Public Health is advising agriculture workers with flu-like symptoms to identify themselves when they get tested for COVID-19, saying they can identify any potential additional influenza cases.

One Human influenza A(H1N2)v case was identified in April of this year, and another in Alberta in October of 2020. Manitoba also had a case of human influenza A(H1N1)v. in April. In June, an unrelated case of H3N2 variant influenza was identified. 

"Health officials advise the detection of these cases could be occurring for a number of reasons including that increased respiratory surveillance for COVID-19 and influenza has been occurring during the pandemic. It is also possible that there is a true increase in the number of these cases, possibly occurring from exposure to infected pigs or through subsequent, limited human-to-human transmission."