• Dramatic rise in number of reported cases of a new flu strain associated with swine

    August 09, 2012 No comments

    State Department of Health officials said Wednesday that the number of human influenza cases tied to swine has jumped to 113 people statewide.

    It’s a jump of 99 people from Tuesday, when only 14 cases were reported statewide.

    The flu is a new strain that popped up in Indiana in July. It’s called variant influenza A, or H3N2v. Health officials said they are unsure if it’s possible for it to be spread from person to person, but they’re investigating it. Officials said it’s been passed from swine to human, and from human to swine.

    Most symptoms are what health officials are calling mild, mimicking what is normally seen in seasonal flu. Cases have been found in 18 Indiana counties including Hendricks County

    Indiana State Fair officials forced roughly 2,000 pigs out of the barn at the fair earlier this week after six pigs developed fevers higher than 105 degrees. However, no cases of H3N2v have been reported in Marion County.

    The department of health suggests the following practices to stop the spread of the illness:

    • Wash hands frequently, including before and after touching animals.
    • Never eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth when visiting animal areas.
    • Older adults, pregnant women, young children, and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
    • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow.
    • If possible, avoid contact with those who are ill.
    • Stay home if you develop influenza symptoms and contact your health care provider.

    Health officials said that eating pork products doesn’t put anyone at risks of getting the virus.

     

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