New Flu Strain Turns Up Again In Pennsylvania

More than 200 cases of a pig-related flu have been confirmed in several states and Pennsylvania is now among them.   The State health department has four confirmed cases and 6 probable cases of the H3N2v flu. The cases occurred among youth participants in the Huntingdon County Fair and were mild.

Cases in other states have been linked to recent contact with pigs, mostly at agricultural fairs. Acting state Physician General Dr. Stephen Ostroff says Pennsylvania was already watching for it  after the rise in cases in Indiana and Ohio. Last year, there were only 13 cases of H3N2v flu in the United States.

Health officials say people attending agriculture fairs are advised to wash their hands after visiting areas with live animals and avoid taking food or drink into animal exhibit areas.  People at high risk for flu complications should consider avoiding live pig displays.  Although the flu has been linked to live pigs, health officials say that handling or eating pork products presents no risk of exposure.

Pennsylvania had three cases last year.  Currently, there is no vaccine for this strain of flu.