COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Department of Health added 15 news cases of swine flu to its confirmed list, bringing the total number up to 30 in Ohio statewide.
All confirmed had direct contact with swine at fairs and no human-to-human passage of the virus has been confirmed.
The case breakdown per county is:
Butler: 16; Clark: 3; Gallia: 4; Greene: 4; and Hamilton: 3.
Those with confirmed cases are between the ages of 6 months and 36 years old.
To date, only one of the confirmed cases was hospitalized as a precaution, but they have since been treated and released.
Individuals who have reported close contact with swine and are exhibiting flu-like symptoms should reach out to their healthcare provider.
The ODH lab will now be able to do final confirmation testing on H3N2v cases, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed protocol. ODH will provide notice of any additional H3N2v human case confirmations on its website.
"There has been a tremendous increase in surveillance across the state," said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Director of the Ohio Department of Health. "We are not surprised by this increase in confirmed cases. We are also aware the flu viruses are not uncommon in swine. Even as we identify additional illnesses, this strain appears to remain mild and does not seem to be any more severe than what we see during most flu seasons."
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is contacting each upcoming fair veterinarian instructing them to post signage for both the exhibitors and for the visiting public, to closely monitor swine health and to take temperatures of any ill swine and notify ODA immediately of the results.
ODA will continue to swab and test animals as needed throughout the fair season.
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.