November 24, 2014

A jump in swine flu cases

The number of cases of a new variant of swine flu–H3N2–has increased to 15, according to state health officials.

Thomas Haupt, a respiratory epidemiologist with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, says all of the cases involved contact with pigs at the State Fair in West Allis, as well as fairs in Dodge, Manitowoc, and Kenosha counties. He adds the disease cannot be contracted by eating pork products.

Although the federal CDC has reported only three possible cases from human-to-human transmission, of the approximate 275 cases in 10 states, Wisconsin has had no such cases.

Haupt says the influenza is not a reason to avoid fairs but he suggests small children, seniors, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems should consider staying away from pigs at these events.

There are 11 upcoming fairs scheduled around Wisconsin.