Swine Flu and Agricultural Fairs

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) are asking people whose attend agricultural fairs to take precautions when around pigs. It is because of a rise in the number of cases of a ‘swine flu’ virus in humans.  People need to avoid contact with the animals especially under 5s, sick people, pregnant women and older people.
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A report on 3 August, the federal agency found 12 new infections in humans with a strain of flu virus which is come from pigs. These bring 29 total cases of human infection with the new variant of influenza A since July 2011. The cases reported 10 from Ohio, each cases from India and Hawaii. The infected people come into direct or indirect contact with the animal before they get the swine flu.

Dr Joseph Bresee from medical epidemiologist in CDC’s influenza division said :-

“Twenty-nine cases of infection with this H3N2 virus since the fall of 2011 is a significant increase in the number of detections for these types of virus we’ve seen in recent years.”

“While no human-to-human spread has been identified in recent cases, limited transmission from person to person is thought to have occurred on three occasions in the fall and winter of 2011,” said Bresee.

The CDC research found that children under 10 don’t have much immunity to fight the new variant.

Symptoms and Transmission

It is not common for swine flu viruses to infect human but it happen now. Symptoms in animals such as pig include fever, sneezing, depression, runny discharge from eyes and nose, coughing, redness in the eyes, loss of appetite, inflammation and difficulty breathing are common to animals and could infect human.

The transmission for swine flu viruses get via coughs and sneezes that propel the virus into the air which can then be breathed in by the next host.

Another way to get infection is by touch a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth or nose. There’s no evidence eating pig meat and pork could transmit the disease to human.

Avoid the flu

To prevent the chance of catching flu, CDC advises people take precautions when going near pigs especially if they touch them, handle them or touch surfaces and items pigs are near or in contact with. For instance, wash your hands frequently especially before and after touching or being near animals. Using soap and running water to make sure any contamination to remove the bacteria from the animals. Keep an eye out for signs of illness and call a veterinarian if you suspect they could be sick. If you’re at animal fairs, never take food or drink into animal areas. The precautions are important and if you have flu, stay away from animals.

Reference :- MedicalnewsToday

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