Seven human infections with novel influenza A viruses were reported by two states, Michigan (4) and Ohio (3), during week ending Aug. 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All seven persons were infected with influenza A (H3N2) variant (H3N2v) viruses and reported exposure to swine in fair settings during the week preceding illness onset. To date, a total of 18 (Michigan  and Ohio ) human infections with H3N2v viruses have been identified during 2016, all reported during the month of August.
One of the 18 persons required hospitalization for their illness. No deaths have occurred.
All variant virus infections have been associated with swine exposure in fair settings. No human-to-human transmission has been identified. Public health and agriculture officials are investigating the extent of disease among humans and swine, and additional cases may be identified as the investigation continues.
The CDC offers the following advice to the public:
- If you are at high risk of serious flu complications and are going to a fair where pigs will be present, avoid pigs and swine barns at the fair. This includes children younger than 5 years, people 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions).
If you are not at high risk, take these precautions:
- Don’t take food or drink into pig areas; don’t eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in pig areas.
- Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into pig areas.
- Wash your hands often with soap and running water before and after exposure to pigs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid close contact with pigs that look or act ill.
- Take protective measures if you must come in contact with pigs that are known or suspected to be sick. This includes wearing personal protective equipment like protective clothing, gloves and masks that cover your mouth and nose when contact is required.
- To further reduce the risk of infection, minimize contact with pigs in the pig barn and arenas.