Earlier this week, we let you know about a scary new swine flu strain that has the CDC a little concerned. But at that time, there were just 29 cases reported. As of yesterday, that number had jumped to 158. And while it still isn’t largely being passed between humans, it’s still definitely something worth having on your radar.
Called H3N2, the new swine flu strain isn’t anywhere close to the pandemic level that 2009 and 2010′s H1N1 reached, which killed tens of thousands worldwide. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still on the rise, and something that everyone should be aware of. Particularly if you’re planning on hitting any agricultural or state fairs with the remainder of your summer.
According to the CDC, the cases have mostly been centralized to Indiana and Ohio, though at least one case has been reported as far away as Hawaii. Most of the cases have occurred following contact with a pig–but it does look like this strain is beginning to be passed from person to person. Which means everyone needs to start following flu season protocol (hand washing, staying home when you feel ill, seeking medical attention, even if the flu seems minor) long before the kids actually get back to school.
Swine flu’s symptoms are much like any other flu. Keep an eye out for, “fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea,” according to the CDC.
Additionally, if you’re going to be going to any petting zoos, fairs, or other place where you or your family might come in contact with pigs, be sure to protect yourself. The CDC recommends that you properly wash your hands before and after you touch anything, avoid touching your face, and don’t eat or drink nearby any livestock for optimal safety.
This new swine flu strain definitely hasn’t reached levels anywhere near that of H1n1 yet, but this week’s spike in cases is pretty alarming. Just be safe around pigs and people who may be ill, and try to keep yourself healthy.
Image via The Pug Father on Flicker