(WASHINGTON COUNTY) - Twenty-three individuals in Washington County have tested positive for H3N2v influenza virus, according to information provided by Kenneth D. Severson, with the Indiana State Department of Health. Statewide, there have been 138 cases.
Lindsey Brough, public health nurse for Washington County, said so far, transmission of the virus has been from pig to human and human to pig, there has been no transmission between people. The disease is not spread by eating pork or pork products.
The ISDH has set up a call center to answer the general public's questions regarding influenza A. The call center is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number is 877-826-0011.
"It's important for folks to remember this is a mild illness with symptoms similar to what we see with seasonal flu," said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin M.D. in a press release. "Because this is a relatively new strain of flu, only first seen in July of last year, a vaccine is not yet available. However, you can help to protect yourself by practicing thorough and frequent hand washing and being mindful not to eat around barn animals."
According to information from ISDH, flu symptoms usually include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sore throat and runny noses. Other possible symptoms are body aches, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms may last from three to eight days.
In addition to Washington County, cases have been confirmed in Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings, Lawrence, Monroe, Scott, Greene, Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Kosciusko, Laporte, Morgan, Owen, Porter, Tipton and White.
Brough said anyone exhibiting symptoms should contact their physician.
To avoid influenza and other respiratory infections, Hoosiers are reminded to follow these simple practices:
- Wash your hands frequently, including before and after touching animals.
- Never eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth when visiting animal areas.
- Older adults, pregnant women, young children, and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow.
- If possible, avoid contact with those who are ill.
- Stay home if you develop influenza symptoms and contact your health care provider.
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