COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Department of Health announced Friday the first known death in the state associated with the swine flu (H3N2) virus.
The patient, a 61-year-old woman, from Madison County died earlier this week. Testing confirmed she had been infected with H3N2. The patient had underlying health problems but the ODH says the flu virus may have contributed to the woman's death.
The ODH says the patient came into contact with swine at the Ross County Fair before becoming sick.
The Centers for Disease Control lists direct contact with swine as the main risk factor for infection.
Ohio is currently reporting 102 cases of H3N2v statewide. Those with confirmed cases of H3N2v are between the ages of 6 months and 61 years old. Most recovered on their own or were treated and released after a short stay in the hospital.
County Breakdown of H3N2 cases:
- Ashland 1
- Athens 8
- Butler 17
- Champaign 15
- Clark 3
- Fairfield 1
- Franklin 4
- Gallia 12
- Greene 6
- Hamilton 3
- Henry 6
- Huron 3
- Jackson 1
- Lake 1
- Licking 2
- Madison 1
- Medina 1
- Monroe 2
- Montgomery 2
- Morrow 1
- Preble 1
- Richland 2
- Ross 7
- Union 1
- Warren 1
Those most at risk including the very young, elderly or those with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes should avoid exposure to pig and swin barns during the fair season.
Those attending fairs 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;
• Leave baby strollers parked outside of areas with pigs;
• 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.
If you are sick:
• If you are at high risk and you get flu symptoms, call a health care provider. Tell them about your risk factor, other medical conditions and your flu symptoms. If you have recently been exposed to swine, tell them about that too.
• If you are not at high risk and you get flu symptoms after exposure to pigs, seek medical care as you normally would.