CDC Tracking Swine Flu Cases in Several States
On Aug. 3, the agency reported 12 new cases in Hawaii, Ohio, and Indiana.
CDC reported 12 new human infections with influenza A (H3N2) variant in Hawaii (one case), Ohio (10 cases), and Indiana (one) on Aug. 3, reporting the virus strain contains the M gene from the human 2009 H1N1 virus, as have the previous 17 cases detected since July 2011. All of the cases are people who had direct or indirect contact with pigs before their illness, according to the agency.
The 10 cases in Ohio were linked to a fair "where reportedly ill swine were present. The H3N2v case reported by Indiana also occurred in a person who attended a fair where swine were present," CDC reported. The agency continues to recommend caution for people who attend county fairs; it said 23 of the 29 total H3N2v infections in the United States since July 2011 involved swine contact prior to illness onset, and 19 were associated with fairs. All of the infected people had high-risk conditions but have fully recovered, CDC reported.
Recommended practices for fair-goers include:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
- Never eat, drink, or put things in your mouth while in animal areas. Don't take food or drink into animal areas.
- Young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
- If you have animals, including swine, watch them for signs of illness and call a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick.
- Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill, when possible.
- Avoid contact with pigs if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
- If you must come in contact with pigs while you are sick, or if you must come in contact with pigs known or suspected to be infected, or their environment, use appropriate protective measures (e.g., wear protective clothing, gloves, masks that cover your mouth and nose, and other PPE) and practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.