FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016

Illinois reports third case of H3N2v swine flu

Illinois reported its third case of a new swine flu strain this week in a five-year-old girl who visited multiple fairs, marking the third case of the illness this year.

The Logan County girl directly contacted hogs at the Illinois State Fair and the Logan County Fair. She began to develop flu symptoms on August 13. The girl did not need to be hospitalized and is currently recovering at home, Associated Press reports.

All three cases of the new H3N2v flu strain involved children who attended agricultural fairs in central Illinois. State agriculture and health officials added hand washing stations on the state fairgrounds at the Illinois State Fair as a precaution.

Approximately 225 cases of H3N2v swine flu have been reported in nine states this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Associated Press.

"We expect the number of H3N2v cases to rise since this virus has been found in pigs in a number of U.S. states per the USDA and there is so much interaction between people and pigs in fair settings at this time of year," Joseph Bresee, the chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch of the CDC's Influenza Division, said, according to the Examiner.

Most of the newest 71 cases hail from Ohio and Indiana, with Ohio reporting 41 cases and Indiana reporting 18. Cases have also been reported in Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.