Updated: 7:06 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 | Posted: 5:46 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012
By Peggy O'Farrell
As state and federal health officials monitor county fairs for signs of swine flu, they remind residents that it’s safe to visit the livestock barns, as long as they practice common sense. Their advice:
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
• Never eat, drink or put things in your mouth in animal areas, and don’t take food or drink into animal areas.
• Young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
• If you have animals – including swine – watch them for signs of illness and call a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick.
• Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill, when possible.
• Avoid contact with swine if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Experts from Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County will be available to answer your questions from noon to 1 p.m. duing an online chat at DaytonDailyNews.com. The Dayton Daily News will continue to bring you the latest updates on the swine flu and how it is affecting area people and county fairs.
H3N2v, the strain of swine flu that has sickened 15 people in Ohio, first emerged last year, when it sickened 12 people.
So far this year, it has been reported in Ohio, Indiana and Hawaii. Everyone infected has been in contact with infected swine at state or county fairs. None has required hospitalization so far this year.
Swine flu rarely infects people.
Symptoms from swine flu are the same as those associated with seasonal flu, and include fever, fatigue, body aches, cough and sore throat. Some people also experience nausea and vomiting.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in previous years, they’ve only tracked one or two cases a year of variant swine flu strains infecting people. The viruses rarely mutate to become easily transmitted from person to person.