Three Henry County children are suffering from influenza confirmed to be caused by the H3N2v virus.
Anne Goon, health commissioner of Henry County, said all three exhibited swine at the Henry County Fair.
H3N2v is a variant virus that is passed from pigs to people. The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed that people have become ill this summer after touring swine exhibits at the Ohio state and county fairs.
Goon said testing samples were taken from five ill youth and sent to the ODH laboratory, which confirmed three were suffering influenza caused by the H3N2v virus. Two other tests were negative for H3N2v.
None of the cases are life threatening, and no one has been hospitalized, Goon said.
But several other Henry County residents have contacted the health department reporting flu-like symptoms. The cases have not been confi rmed as being H3N2v.
Some pigs at the fair were confirmed to be infected by the H3N2v virus.
Henry County fair officials isolated the fairgrounds’ swine barns after pigs began showing signs of illness.
John Poulson, swine superintendent of the Henry County Fair Board, said on Monday night, Aug 13, some pigs began exhibiting symptoms consistent with influenza– coughing and refusing to eat or drink.
Between Monday and Tuesday morning, temperatures of 10 pigs were taken; five were running a fever.
About Tuesday noon, Poulson said he ordered the animals isolated from the public. The showmen– 4-H youngsters who own the animals– were permitted in the barns to care for their pigs. They were decontaminated as they left the barns.
The 4-H youth were educated about the situation, in an attempt to control rumors. He said all were told about precautions to prevent contracting the flu.
“Common sense precautions,” Poulson said.
The temperatures of all pigs on the fairgrounds were taken on Wednesday morning, Aug. 15. About 40% of the 100-plus pigs were running a fever.
Healthy animals were sent directly to market. Pigs that were not bound for market after the fair were allowed to go home. The remainder were kept at the fairgrounds to progress through the illness.
ODH has provided a list of precautions for those who plan to be around animals, based on the word, “Know.”
K– Know that animals carry germs that can make people sick.
N– Never eat, drink, or put things into your mouth in animal areas.
O– Older adults, pregnant women, and young children should be extra careful around animals.
W– Wash your hands with soap and water right after visiting the animal area. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
So far, ODH reports there are 87 confirmed cases of H3N2v influenza statewide.
Goon said anyone who has flu-like symptoms, such as fever, respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose, body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, should contact their physician.
Anti-viral medications have shown to be effective against the illness.
All those interviewed in connection with this article have said humans cannot contract the H3N2v virus by eating pork or pork products.– David Pugh