ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — A child who visited the Allegan County Fair is Michigan’s first confirmed case of swine flu this year, according to health officials.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services along with the Allegan County Health Department say the child recently tested positive for the H3N2 variant influenza, more commonly known as swine flu.
While there currently is no vaccine for H3N2v, health officials say it’s unlikely anyone else who attended the fair will be sickened, since the virus’ typical incubation period has passed. The Allegan County Fair took place Sept. 8-16; swine flu symptoms typical emerge 1-7 days after exposure.
Allegan County Health Office Angelique Joynes also cautioned that variant flu viruses rarely spread from person to person.
Symptoms of swine flu are similar to seasonal flu viruses, including fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Children younger than 5 years and people age 65 or older, pregnant women and those with medical conditions are at higher risk of developing complications, which can lead to pneumonia and even death.
As the flu season begins, health officials encourage people to take the following steps to protect themselves:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- If you are sick, stay home from work or school until your illness is over.
- Get an annual flu vaccination.