Second case of pig-borne flu reported in Minnesota

Categories: Health
Pig behind fence.jpg
Vicky TGAW
To avoid the flu, wash your hands with soap and water after petting this little dude.
See also:
-- New flu strain acquired through contact with pigs
-- State Fair pigs examined, none sent home due to flu concerns

Minnesota has recorded its second case of the flu that had State Fair workers examining 250 pigs last week as a precaution.

The latest case was reported in a man in his twenties from the Twin Cities metro area, according to a statement by the Minnesota Department of Health. The man had bought a pig at a live-animal market in Dakota County on August 17.

Still, despite the concern and precautions this flu has spawned, MDH officials emphasize that they expect to continue seeing more cases of it, and that the illness has not become more virulent or more easily spread.

"Although people can get the virus from pigs, it isn't easily passed from one person to another, and the illness has not been severe," said Richard Danila, deputy state epidemiologist, in a statement. "This latest flu patient did not require hospitalization."

So far this year, 277 nationwide cases of the flu, called H3N2v influenza, have been reported to the CDC, according to the MDH. Since July, only 13 people have been hospitalized and all have since recovered.

Fairgoers are still urged to avoid eating, drinking and putting anything in their mouths while in areas where animals are exhibited. The MDH also recommends washing hands with soap and water after any exposure to animals.


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