WORLD NEWS TOMORROW – CHILLICOTHE — Ross County, less than a week removed from the end of its county fair, has joined the list of counties with confirmed human cases of Influenza A H3N2v, also known as the swine flu.
The Ohio Department of Health on Tuesday indicated the number of statewide human cases stood at 54, including one in Ross County.
By late Wednesday, Kathy Wakefield with the Ross County Health District said two more suspected local cases came back positive, bringing the total of confirmed cases to three in the county. Updated statewide figures put the number at 68.
Statewide, all of the confirmed cases were in people between age six months to 36 years old. Ross County’s three cases all were children who attended this past week’s Ross County Fair. Ages of the children were not provided.
Of the confirmed cases statewide, only five were hospitalized and since have been released. No deaths have been associated with the disease.Ross County Health District spokesman Rami Yoakum said he spoke this week with a veterinarian at the fair and was told one pig — not a hog — had been sent home the Monday of fair week and ended up eventually testing positive for H3N2v. Two other swine were sent home from the fairgrounds late in the week with illnesses but were not tested for swine flu.
On the Friday of fair week, the local health district sent three samples from suspected human cases to the state lab.One of the three quickly came back positive, with the other two were confirmed Wednesday. A case is considered suspected until the state lab officially confirms the presence of the flu.
“Most of the cases continue to be relatively mild and in younger people who have had contact with swine,” Yoakum said.Symptoms that could be related to swine flu include a fever of greater than 100 degrees, coughing, sneezing, head and body aches and fatigue.
“If you are experiencing influenza-like symptoms, you should see your physician, especially if you were at the fair and in the animal barns or around someone who was, such as an exhibitor,” Yoakum said.The highest number of confirmed cases as of Wednesday night were the 17 recorded in Butler County, where the swine flu first was discovered at an Ohio county fair after appearances at some locations in Indiana. That number is followed by 13 confirmed cases in Champaign County and 11 in Gallia County.
State health officials said this week they have not determined the extent that the swine flu can be conveyed by person-to-person transmission yet, but they are continuing to look into the possibility.