Health officials caution Hoosiers about swine flu

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State health officials say Hoosiers should be extra careful this fair season after four cases of variant influenza A were discovered in Grant County, sparking fears about swine flu.

Health officials said the individuals visited the Grant County Agricultural Fair between June 16 and June 22, falling ill after attending. At least two had direct contact with swine.

Human infections with the virus are rare, but most occurred after close contact with pigs who were infected. Thirteen pigs at the fair tested positive. Health officials said the pig themselves can be infected without exhibiting any symptoms. They typically recover.

Health officials said Hoosiers should be vigilant about washing their hands and having contact with pigs. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, chills, headache and body aches. They typically begin on to four days after exposure. The illness can last from two to seven days.

State health officials plan to increase surveillance for influenza-like illnesses as fair season ramps up. In 2012, Indiana had 138 cases for variant influenza A H3N2v.

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