CINCINNATI (AP) — Health officials investigating illnesses linked to a southwest Ohio county fair confirmed a strain of swine flu in nine cases Thursday and said it matches the virus that infected several people recently at an Indiana fair.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed an H3N2 variant flu virus in nine of 10 suspected Ohio cases. Testing is pending in the tenth case. Symptoms of the virus infection include cough, sore throat, fever, body aches and possible nausea and diarrhea.
The 10 were among as many as 41 people — all but two of them children — who became sick with symptoms like those of swine flu and whose illnesses were linked to the Butler County Fair, which ended last weekend. No hospitalizations have been reported.
Ohio Department of Health spokesman Robert Jennings said it is possible more people may be tested as local health officials gather more information.
In 2009, the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 strain of swine flu the first global flu pandemic in 40 years. Investigation showed the H1N1 was lethal mostly to those with complicating circumstances. It now is considered a seasonal flu and included in the flu vaccine. People rarely have contracted the flu from pigs in recent years.
Dr. Joe Bresee, an influenza epidemiologist for the CDC, said the agency has confirmed 19 cases of the H3N2 swine flu strain since it first showed up about one year ago. Among them, Indiana has had five confirmed cases and Hawaii one.