August 1, 2012
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohio health and agriculture officials said Wednesday they are investigating the cases of 10 sick humans whose illnesses have similarities to a swine flu virus. All had attended the same county fair.
State and Butler County health departments say preliminary laboratory tests indicate possible H3N2 variant flu virus, which can be contracted by humans from being around infected hogs. Officials say all 10 had contact with hogs at the Butler County Fair, which ended last weekend in Hamilton, in southwest Ohio.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating, but hasn't confirmed swine flu.
Ohio Health Department spokeswoman Tessie Pollock said all 10 people are recovering from their illness. She wouldn't discuss any other details about them or their cases, citing health privacy concerns.
Swine flu symptoms include cough, sore throat, fever and body aches, and possibly nausea and diarrhea.
Indiana authorities last week said they were investigating similar cases involving four people who had swine contact at a northwest Indiana fair.
Pollock said Ohio authorities have been in contact with Indiana officials, and also with Ohio State Fair officials. The state fair continues through Sunday in Columbus. Health officials advise people to wash their hands after being near livestock and to keep food and drinks out of animal areas.
"This is no reason not to attend the fair," she said.
Health officials urge exhibitors at fairs to take precautions and for veterinarians to closely monitor swine for signs of illness.
There have been various strains of swine flu, including the H1N1 flu that caused a 2009 global pandemic.