Health officials have confirmed 8 cases that tested positive for influenza A H3N2 variant (H3N2v), also known as the swine flu.
One patient was hospitalized and released.
All of these people had exposure to swine at county fairs in Muskegon, Cass, and Ingham counties during July and August where sick pigs were found.
What is the swine flu and how do you get it?
The swine flu is also known as H3N2v. It’s a non-human influenza virus that’s been detected in the United States since August 2011.
It typically infects pigs and usually doesn’t infect people.
However it may spread to people in a couple of ways: when an infected pig coughs or sneezes, an infected droplet may land on a person’s mouth or nose or inhaled in.
Another way is by touching something that already has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth or nose.
A third possible way to get infected is by inhaling particles with the influenza virus.
How can we prevent getting infected?
You can reduce the odds of getting infected by avoiding pigs and swine barns at fairs.
If you do choose to visit livestock barns, don’t eat or drink anything while inside them. Don’t get too close to pigs either.
If you have small children, leave toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles and strollers behind when visiting pig areas.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as germs spread this way.
Make sure to wash your hands before and after visiting pigs.
If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home from work or school until you’re recovered. Make sure to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Be sure to throw the tissue into the trash so no one touches it. And wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
This will help lower the risk of infection and spreading influenza viruses.