New Strain of Swine Flu Detected in Coles County


A child who contracted a new strain of swine flu has become the first Illinois case of the illness.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced the case today, encouraging state and county fairgoers to wash their hands frequently around pigs.

The new strain is known as H3N2v and is a variation first discovered last year.

The virus is typically transmitted from swine to humans. The child in Illinois attended the Coles County Fair. Further testing may identify how the child caught the bug.

The new flu's severity has been compared to regular seasonal flu. The child who got sick in Illinois has not been hospitalized.

The health department and state agriculture department have added hand-washing stations on the state fairgrounds where the Illinois State Fair is under way.

Mark Ernst is the state veterinarian for Illinois. He says the State Fair is doing its part to combat health risks.

"We've notified our staff that works the livestock exhibits, we do go through and check in the livestock," he said. "They're aware of the possibility of influenza in swine and so they'll certainly be more vigilent in looking for any type of respiratory infections or conditions that may be present in the swine."

Hand-washing stations will be set-up in many spots throughout the fairgrounds.

(With additional reporting from Illinois Public Radio)

Story source: AP