With the county fair season approaching, state health officials are encouraging you to take steps to protect yourself against the swine flu at county and 4-H fairs around the state.
Four cases of variant influenza A (H3N2), or swine flu, were found in fair-goers after the Grant County Agricultural Fair earlier this month. The Indiana State Department of Health and the Grant County Health Department are investigating these cases.
Human infections with H3N2 are rare but they occur after close proximity to live infected pigs.
Thirteen pigs at the fair tested positive for H3N2. It is not uncommon for pigs to be infected with swine influenza viruses but not show any sign of illness.
If a human contracts H3N2, a fever may develop as well as a cough, sore throat, chills, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms can begin approximately one to four days after being exposed to the illness and can last from two to seven days.
Health officials are increasing surveillance for influenza-like illness. Officials urge you to watch your hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching an animal at the fair.
There is no vaccine available for people to protect against the H3N2 virus.