HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today reported four confirmed and six probable human cases of influenza due to a new strain of the flu known as H3N2v.
The cases occurred among youth participants in the Huntingdon County Fair, Aug. 5 to 11. There are no reported hospitalizations, the state said. Although the investigation is ongoing, there is no evidence to date of the new flu strain spreading from person-to-person.
While the strain is typically associated with swine, both the departments of Health and Agriculture emphasize that handling or eating pork products presents no risk of exposure to influenza.
It is the same virus that has recently caused illness in Indiana and Ohio, mostly among children who were exhibitors at or attended agricultural fairs. The illnesses reported in Pennsylvania are also mostly in children and are typical for the flu.
"People should use common sense and take steps to protect their health if they're visiting or exhibiting in a county fair in the coming weeks, especially if they are at high risk for illness," Secretary of Health Dr. Eli N. Avila said.
Avila said fair attendees should wash their hands after visiting areas with live animals and avoid carrying food or drink or putting things in their mouth while in these areas.