INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The number of human cases of swine flu has risen to 12 in Indiana, prompting state health officials to remind people to take precautions.
The Indiana State Department of Health said Wednesday that at least 10 cases of variant influenza A, or swine flu, were tied to the Grant and Hancock county fairs. One person developed the flu after having contact with swine at their farm.
The department said last week that four people had contracted the flu at the Grant County fair.
"There's no reason why Hoosiers shouldn't enjoy our county and 4H fairs this summer," said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D., in a news release. "But now that we know swine influenza is circulating, it's going to be important to take some extra precautions around the animals."
Last year, Indiana saw 138 cases of swine flu. State health officials suggest these steps to avoid infection:
- Wash hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal.
- Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth when visiting animal areas and avoid face-to-face contact with animals.
- People at high risk for flu complications should avoid close contact with swine in the fair setting particularly.
People with swine flu develop symptoms one to four days after exposure. Symptoms can last two to seven days, though antiviral influenza drugs can help.
Thus far, 29 pigs from the Grant and Hancock county fairs have tested positive for influenza. Often, pigs can have the flu and show no symptoms.
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