The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced the launch of an outreach plan to increase awareness of H3N2v at county fairs. A representative from ODA and ODH, or a local designee such as the fair veterinarian or health commissioner, will visit every fair to make in-person contact with swine exhibitors and reinforce the importance of preventing the spread of flu. As part of that outreach, ODA has set guidance for fair boards. Together, the agencies created an informational video for fairgoers and exhibitors: http://youtu.be/WBJsCcqscU0.
ODH has confirmed six additional cases of Influenza A variant H3N2 in Ohio. There are currently 36 cases of H3N2v statewide. At this time, surveillance indicates that the individuals most likely became ill with the flu virus after exposure to swine.
County of Residence
Number of Confirmed H3N2v Cases
Those with confirmed cases of H3N2v are between the ages of 6 months and 36 years old. To date, one of the confirmed cases in Ohio was hospitalized, but they have since been treated and released. Health officials have not determined person to person transmission at this time, but continue to investigate the possibility.
With county fairs running into the first week of October in Ohio, ODA and ODH remind residents and visitors that fair attendance is safe. Those attending the fair should remember:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
- Never eat, drink or put things in your mouth in animal areas, and don’t take food or drink into animal areas.
- Young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
- If you have animals – including swine – watch them for signs of illness and call a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick.
- Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill, when possible.
- Avoid contact with swine if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
More information is available from ODH at: http://bit.ly/OhioH3N2vUpdates.