A Delaware girl who had recently come in close contact with pigs at the Anne Arundel County Fair has been diagnosed with swine flu.
State health officials have only indentified the girl as a female under the age 18 who lives in Sussex County. They say she contracted a mild case of swine flu and is recovering. They say while it is rare for influenza viruses that normally infect pigs to spread to humans, it does happen occasionally.
The Maryland Department of Health announced Wednesday several “presumptive” cases of swine flu in others who also had close contact with pigs at the Anne Arundel County Fair.
Swine flu typically causes mild symptoms similar to the seasonal flu and include fever and sore throat and cough. Treatment for swine flu is the same as for seasonal flu.
In April 2009, four confirmed cases of swine flu were discovered at the University of Delaware. Another 17 cases were identified as probable swine flu at UD. The swine flu variant in 2009 was H1N1, which is different from the case confirmed this week as H2N2v. A Kent County woman was the first in Delaware to die from H1N1 in October 2009. As of January 2010, six deaths were attributed to H1N1 in the state.
The swine flu case in Sussex comes just as state health leaders are preparing to launch their efforts to prepare residents for the seasonal flu. THe state’s first community flu vaccination clinics will be held Thursday, October 5 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Porter State Service Center in Wilmington.
Fifteen Delawareans died from the flu in the 2016-17 flu season, and the state had over 4,500 confirmed flu cases.
“Flu season officialy begins next week and vaccines are still the best protection,” said Division of Public Health Director Karyl Rattay. “The flu vaccine can either prevent the illness or reduce its severity in humans. It is especially important that older Delawareans and those with underlying health conditions get their flu shots early, preferably in October.”
You can find details on a flu clinic or vaccination site at flu.Delaware.gov.