||CDC Confirms Two Human Cases of Variant Influenza A In Monroe County
BLOOMINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed two variant influenza A (H3N2v) virus cases in people who were in contact with pigs at the Monroe County Fair.
Results from tests on other people who had specimens sent to the Indiana State Department of Health Laboratory are still pending confirmation from the CDC.
The State Board of Animal Health says that nine pigs at the Monroe County Fair have tested positive for variant influenza A (H3N2v) virus.
The CDC says that influenza A (H3N2v) is a variant influenza virus because it does not occur seasonally, nor does it normally affect humans. However, influenza A viruses regularly cause outbreaks in pigs. When infected pigs and humans are in close proximity or direct contact, influenza can be transmitted. Influenza viruses are not transmitted by eating pork or pork products.
Currently, infections with variant influenza A virus have not been documented as spreading from person to person, but public health officials are investigating to see if human transmission has occurred.
The symptoms of human infection with a variant influenza A virus are similar to seasonal flu symptoms and include fever, chills, headache, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches and, in children, may include diarrhea and nausea.
The Indiana State Department of Health recommends that people should always wash hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal. Additionally, state health officials caution against eating around animals. Older adults, pregnant women, young children, and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
Swine owners are encouraged to contact a veterinarian if their animals show any signs of influenza, including coughing, respiratory illness, off-feed and fever. People should avoid face-to-face contact with pigs.
Anyone who has had direct, routine contact with swine and have experienced cough or influenza-like illness should contact their health care provider, who can provide an anti-viral agent, like Tamiflu, at the beginning of the illness.