The US CDC has issued a warning about the risk of pig flu to coincide with the season for state and country fairs. There have been twenty-nine cases so far this year.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a statement reminding people to be careful around pigs. This is in relation to the risk of flu spreading from the animals to people.
Although the risk of animal-to-human transmission remains low, CDC data indicates that there have been twenty-nine cases of the humans contracting swine flu in 2012 to date, most of whom were children. According to Edge, ten of the cases were traced to the Butler County Fair in southwest Ohio. The strain of flu was the H3N2 swine flu.
The first human infection with an influenza A H3N2 variant (H3N2v) virus in 2012 was reported in a child by the state of Utah. This was detected by chance when the influenza-positive sample from a medical visit was forwarded to the state public health laboratory for further analysis.
According to the CDC: “These cases occurred in three U.S. states; all occurred in people who had direct or indirect contact with swine and all but one case was associated with attendance at agricultural fairs where swine were present.”
The new warning has been written by Dr. Joseph Bresee, the CDC's chief of influenza epidemiology. The warning reminds people to wash their hands after touching animals an avoiding consuming food or drink in livestock areas. It is also advised that especially vulnerable groups, such as the sick, the under 5s, pregnant women and seniors avoid contact with farm animals altogether.