Officials warning Hoosiers after reported flu case from exposure to pigs

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Board of Animal Health have confirmed the first case of influenza from pig exposure since 2013.

The H3N2 variant influenza is most commonly associated with contact with pigs. The infected Hoosier became ill after being exposed to pigs during a county fair that has since ended. The resident is recovering.

“Seeing animals is one of the highlights of going to the fair, but it’s important to remember that animals can carry diseases that can make people sick,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “Washing your hands after attending animal exhibits and practicing good food hygiene can help prevent illness and ensure that the fair and other events remain a healthy and fun experience.”

Hoosiers can protect themselves by taking the following steps:

  • Avoid eating, drinking, using tobacco or putting anything else in your mouth while in pig barns and show arenas.
  • Avoid taking toys, pacifiers, cups, bottles, strollers or similar items into pig barns and show arenas.
  • Wash hands often with soap and running water before and after attending pig exhibits. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Stay home if you are sick with flu-like illness.
  • People at high risk for serious complications from the flu should avoid pigs and should not enter swine barns. These populations include children younger than 5, pregnant women, people age 65 and older and people with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, as well as those with weakened immune systems.

Fair exhibitors are encouraged to watch pigs for signs of illness, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, cough or runny nose. Exhibitors should minimize the number of people who have contact with ill swine and notify the fair veterinarian or manager that their animal might be ill.

For more information about H3N2v, visit the CDC website here.