Swine flu cases connected with county fair investigated

Swine flu cases connected with county fair investigated
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Several reports of presumptive swine flu cases in people are being investigated in Jackson County, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Bureau for Public Health (BPH).

The agency made that announcement Wednesday, saying those who contracted the illness had worked closely with pigs that showed signs of respiratory symptoms and fever at the Jackson County Fair.

One case of swine flu has been confirmed in Jackson County, but Jackson County Health Officer Dr. John Snyder said people shouldn’t be too worried.

“There’s been one child confirmed as having swine flu,” Snyder said. “The child is being treated. As far as I know is doing well.”

Health officials say a presumptive positive strain of influenza A H3N2v was found Tuesday in at least one person.

The sample has been forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation, according to the state DHHR.

Snyder said it’s unusual for a case of swine flu to appear in a person but said people shouldn’t worry.

“The chance of you contacting swine flu from being at the hog barn or being at the fair at this point is extremely low,” he said. “The main reason we’re worried is we don’t want to see a greater outbreak of flu.”

Jackson County Fair President John Curry said there were five to six hogs showing symptoms that were looked at by a veterinarian at the fair.

“We followed everything that the state recommend and closed the hog barn to the public and they told us to go ahead with the sale and send everything to slaughter,” Curry said.

“If experiencing symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough or congestion, it is extremely important to let your healthcare provider know if you or your loved one has visited a recent outdoor event with animal livestock, such as pigs, and to be appropriately evaluated,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, DHHR’s State Health Officer and BPH Commissioner, in a news release. “These symptoms usually show up 1-3 days after exposure.”

Health officials say swine flu among pigs doesn’t usually infect people. The same influenza antiviral drugs used to treat seasonal influenza can also be used for treatment of swine flu infection in people.

Those who work with or visit animal exhibits are advised to thoroughly wash their hands and not to eat or drink in swine barns.

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