According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) FluView published today, eleven human infections with novel influenza A viruses were detected in Ohio during the week of July 16.
All 11 persons were infected with influenza A (H3N2) variant (H3N2v) viruses and reported exposure to swine in a fair setting during the week preceding illness onset. Ten of the 11 patients were children less than 18 years of age and one patient was an adult aged 50-64 years. None were hospitalized and all have fully recovered from their illness.
No human-to-human transmission has been identified. Swine influenza A (H3N2) viruses were identified from respiratory samples collected from pigs at the same fair.
Public health and agriculture officials are investigating the extent of disease among humans and swine, but no increases in influenza-like illness in the community have been reported. These 11 infections bring the total number of H3N2v infections during 2017 to 12 and the cumulative total since 2011 to 376.
Swine Influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that cause outbreaks in pigs. Signs of swine flu in pigs can include fever, coughing (barking), sneezing, breathing difficulties, eye redness or inflammation, and not eating. Some pigs infected with influenza, however, may show no signs of illness at all.
Swine flu viruses do not normally infect people; however, sporadic human infections with these viruses have occurred. Human infections with H1N1v, H3N2v and H1N2v viruses have been detected in the United States.
Spread between pigs and people is thought to happen mainly when an infected pig (or human) coughs or sneezes and droplets with influenza virus in them spread through the air. If these droplets land in the nose or mouth, or are inhaled, that person (or pig) could be infected.
There also is some evidence that the virus might spread by touching something that has virus on it and then touching the mouth or nose.
A third way to possibly get infected is to inhale particles containing influenza virus. Influenza has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork (pig meat) or other products derived from pigs.
Most commonly, human infections with variant viruses occur in people with exposure to infected pigs (e.g., at a fair or at work). Illness associated with variant virus infection includes symptoms similar to those of seasonal flu. Most illness has been mild, but as with seasonal flu, hospitalization and death can occur. There have been documented cases of multiple people becoming sick after exposure to one or more infected pigs and also cases of limited spread of variant influenza viruses from person to person.
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