Cases of H3N2v Influenza Virus (Swine Flu) on the Rise

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Published on August 18 2012 10:55 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) laboratory has confirmed a total of three cases of what is known as the H3N2v influenza virus. IDPH is working with local, state and federal health officials to reduce the spread of this virus, but additional cases are possible, therefore it is important to take preventative steps. The three confirmed cases all report having contact with swine at agricultural fairs in central Illinois. All three cases are children, and none have required hospitalization.

H3N2v is a variant form of influenza A. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) is currently reporting approximately 225 cases in nine states is the U.S. this year. Most infections have occurred following contact with swine, with no evidence the virus is being continuously passed from person to person. So far, the severity of illnesses associated with this virus in people has been similar to the severity of illnesses associated with seasonal flu virus infections.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Agriculture are closely monitoring this new strain of influenza,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “By taking a few preventive steps, like washing your hands frequently and not eating around farm animals, you greatly decrease your risk of getting the flu.”

A five-year-old girl Logan County girl has been diagnosed with swine flu. That's after she came into direct contact with hogs at both the Logan County Fair and the Illinois State Fair. The Logan County Department of Public Health says the girl developed influenza-like symptoms on August 13th. She has not been hospitalized and is recovering at home.