CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed a case of the H3N2v influenza virus in a Boone County child who was in contact with swine. The virus has been reported in three states this year — Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
The Boone County child has mild symptoms and had been helping an exhibitor at the DuPage County Fair in late July, health officials said.
H3N2v is a variant form of influenza A, first detected in swine in 2011. The first human cases were reported in 2012, including four in Illinois, according to health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 12 cases in the U.S. this year, with all infections in people following contact with swine. The virus has made people about as sick as the seasonal flu virus has, health officials said.
"The H3N2v virus is relatively new, but the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and our federal partners are monitoring this situation closely," IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said in a written statement. "We want you to enjoy your time at the state or county fair, so one key thing to do to stay healthy is to wash your hands frequently, especially if you are around swine."
Other safety tips from IDPH:
— Don't take food or drinks into animal areas or eat, drink or put anything into your mouth while visiting animal areas.
— Don't take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles and strollers into animal areas.
— Avoid close contact with animals, especially swine.
— Avoid contact with animals if you have influenza-like symptoms.
— Caution should be used in visiting animal areas for anyone with an underlying health condition, who is pregnant, who is younger than age 5 or older than 65.