First swine flu case of 2017 reported in Michigan

A child that visited the Allegan County Fair in south west Michigan was diagnosed with swine flu.

(Tsekhmister | Bigstock)
(Tsekhmister | Bigstock)

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan County Health Department have 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.

The fair took place Sept. 8-16. Other human cases of swine flu are not considered likely because the incubation period for the H3N2 flu is 1-7 days. There is no current vaccination for this kind of flu and seasonal vaccines do not protect against it.

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.

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.

Not the first county fair outbreak in 2017

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 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 last month.

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.

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