Several cases of swine flu reported in West Virginia, DHHR investigating

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - The West Virginia DHHR and the Jackson County Health Department are investigating several reports of people who have developed a swine influenza-like illness.

Officials said they developed the illness after working closely with swine that had respiratory symptoms and fever at the Jackson County Fair.

DHHR’s Office of Laboratory Services found presumptive influenza A in at least one human sample on Tuesday. The sample has been forwarded to the CDC for confirmation.

“If experiencing symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough or congestion, it is extremely important to let your healthcare provider know if you or your loved one has visited a recent outdoor event with animal livestock, such as pigs, and to be appropriately evaluated,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, DHHR’s State Health Officer and BPH Commissioner. “These symptoms usually show up 1-3 days after exposure.”

Swine influenza viruses may circulate in pig populations throughout the year and do not usually infect humans, according to the DHHR.

Although influenza viruses can spread between pigs and humans in rare situations, officials said this usually occurs after having contact with a pig in a public setting or by directly working with infected pigs.

State residents are encouraged to take routine precautions when visiting animal exhibits, including the following:

  • Washing hands with soap and water before and after exposure to animals
  • Not taking personal items, food or drinks into swine barns or areas with animals
  • Avoid close contact with animals that are ill
  • Avoid contact with pigs if experiencing influenza-like symptoms

Officials said the same influenza antiviral drugs used to treat seasonal influenza can also be used for treatment of swine flu infection in humans.

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