Swine flu detected in child who visited fair

Allegan County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported on Oct. 6, that a child who had visited the Allegan County Fair has tested positive for the H3N2 variant (H3N2v) influenza.

The fair was Sept. 8-16. The incubation period (the time it takes from exposure to illness) for this influenza is 1 to 7 days, and most commonly 2 days. Therefore, it is unlikely that there will be new cases from direct exposure at the Allegan County Fair.

“This variant flu virus has rarely been shown to spread from person to person but any individual with flu-like-symptoms should contact his or her medical provider and the health department,” said Angelique Joynes, Allegan County Health Officer.

“In addition, it is important to note, the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against H3N2v.”

Symptoms of H3N2v infection in people are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Infections with influenza viruses (including variant viruses like H3N2v) can sometimes cause severe disease, even in healthy people. This can include complications, such as pneumonia, which may require hospitalization, and sometimes results in death.

People who are at high risk of developing complications if they get influenza include children younger than 5 years of age, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions.

For more information about H3N2v, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-basics.htm, or contact Erin Radke, Communicable Disease Nurse at (269) 686-4551.

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