Swine flu linked to state fairPublished 11:03am Tuesday, September 11, 2012
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A fourth flu illness has been linked to pig exposure at the Minnesota State Fair, health officials said Monday, Sept. 10.
The teenage boy from greater Minnesota was exhibiting swine at the Fair on Aug. 24-26 and came down with flu symptoms two days later, said Buddy Ferguson, a health department spokesman.
The boy was not hospitalized and is recovering, Ferguson said.
Preliminary test results show the boy was sickened with H1N2 variant, a form of flu found in pigs that previously sickened three others who had prolonged pig exposure during the Fair.
“There was at least one pig [at the Fair] who was positive for H1N2v,” Ferguson said. “Genetically, it was a match for the strain we were seeing in human patients.”
Infection with H1N2 is not considered unusual in pigs, but it is rare in humans. The strain is distinct from the H3N2 variant strain that has caused more than 200 illnesses in humans this year and prompted stepped up surveillance and prevention efforts across the country.
Later this week, health officials expect final confirmation on the viral strain in the fourth flu case from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.