The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported a case of H3N2v in a patient. The infected person informed officials they had no contact with any hogs the week prior to becoming ill. However, a household member had in fact had exposure to pigs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in their weekly report.
The infected patient was hospitalized and released. This was first reported case in Nebraska during 2017.
Symptoms of swine flu often mock the same symptoms of a seasonal flu. Swine flu usually spreads from hogs to humans through close contact. A pig may cough or sneeze, spreading the sickness on to humans. Some studies suggest if one human is contaminated they may pass it through close contact.
Not the first case of outbreak within the US in 2017
Many of the previously reported outbreaks were related to human exposure to pigs at county fairs. Early last month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan County Health Department announced a case of H3N2, a form of swine flu. A child that visited the Allegan County Fair in south west Michigan was diagnosed with swine flu and was the only reported case from the county.
There are no reports how many hogs were ill at the fair. It is possible that the hogs were already being processed for harvest before the child became ill.
Earlier this fall tests showed that 11 pigs from The Great Frederick Fair in Maryland were infected with influenza A; that was the second fair within a week to experience the circumstances of swine flu. All hogs in the infected area were quarantined for seven days following the last signs of illness.
Charles County Fair had issues with the swine flu not only affecting hogs but also humans. Seven people were treated for swine flu after attending the fair. Maryland’s health department said that the infected people had contact with five hogs that were infected. None of the individuals had to be hospitalized.
There have only been about 400 cases of swine flu reported in humans since 2005, “which means that it’s really unusual,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, in an interview with WTOP in September.
Two county fairs in Ohio had swine influenza outbreaks earlier this summer. The affected fairs were the Franklin County Fair in Hilliard, Ohio, and the Clinton County Fair in Wilmington, Ohio. The drive time between the two fairs is just over an hour.
Franklin County's fair removed 50 hogs after two pigs developed influenza. Clinton County was hit on a much bigger scale; after two hogs tested positive for influenza, 300 more were required to undergo a mandatory slaughter.