State Health Officials: Keep Hands Clean At The Fair
July 18, 2013 — Indiana is still dealing with swine influenza but as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jill Sheridan reports, the strain is different from the 2009 pandemic virus.
Fair season is in full swing in Indiana, the only state reporting cases of variant influenza A or swine influenza. The majority of cases are tied to contact with pigs at county fairs unlike the outbreak four summers ago. In 2009 swine flu or H1N1 hit Indiana claiming a reported 38 lives. Swine influenza or H3N2v has some of the same characteristics.
Pam Pontones is the Indiana State Epidemiologist with the Department of Health. She says there are still sporadic cases of H1N1. Since there is no vaccination, Hoosiers are urged to take simple precautions when protecting from the current strain.
Health officials recommend washing hands after petting fair animals and avoid putting anything in your mouth when visiting animal areas. Variant influenza A or swine influenza usually has the same severity as seasonal flu.