DPH Announces First Flu Case Likely Related to Pigs at a County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DPH Announces First Flu Case Likely Related to Pigs at a County Fair

Posted: 09/27/2017 15:38:00 -04:00 Updated:

DOVER, De. -- The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced today the state’s first laboratory-confirmed case of a variant influenza virus in a girl under the age of 18 from Sussex County. Reports indicate that the girl had close contact with pigs at a county fair in Maryland.

Delaware Health and Social Services said the case is mild and the individual is recovering.

According to reports, officials were not able to definitely determine where exactly the individual came in contact with the variant influenza virus -- otherwise known as swine flu. However, the Maryland Department of Agriculture has been investigating the appearance of this virus in pigs at the fairs in Charles and Frederick Counties. The individual said she had close contact with pigs at the Anne Arundel County Fair, the first suspected case of swine flu from that event. 

The Maryland Department of Health announced today “presumptive” positive cases of the swine flu in people from Maryland who had close contact with pigs at the Anne Arundel County Fair as well.

The DPH advises people to prevent the spread of the flu by washing their hands often, as well as getting the flu shot before the start of this year's flu season. While the flu vaccine will not offer protection for flu variants that pass through animals, it will prevent the spread of flu from one person to another. They also advise anyone at higher risk for complications of influenza to consider avoiding exposure to pigs and swine barns, especially where sick pigs have been identified.

The DPH asks anyone who visited a Maryland County fair within the last seven to ten days, had contact with pigs, and has subsequently developed flu symptoms after their last exposure, to call their medical provider to discuss the potential need for a flu test.

According to reports, Delaware had over 4,500 confirmed flu cases, 15 of which were fatal during the last flu season. The new flu season starts in October.

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