OH documents 1st death associated to H3N2v - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

OH documents 1st death associated to H3N2v

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The influenza viruses that caused Hong Kong flu (magnified about 100,000 times) which was a category 2 flu pandemic from 1968 to 1969 caused by a strain of H3N2 descended from H2N2 by antigenic shift. The influenza viruses that caused Hong Kong flu (magnified about 100,000 times) which was a category 2 flu pandemic from 1968 to 1969 caused by a strain of H3N2 descended from H2N2 by antigenic shift.

COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Ohio Department of Health announced Friday the first known H3N2v-associated death.

The 61-year-old female Madison County resident passed away earlier this week. Testing at the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory confirmed that she had been infected with the H3N2v influenza virus. The patient had multiple other underlying medical conditions, but the influenza virus may have contributed to the death.

The individual had direct contact with swine at the Ross County Fair before becoming ill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main risk factor for infection is direct exposure to swine. CDC points out that the virus does not spread easily from person-to-person, but limited human-to-human infection has occurred.

"H3N2v, like many other viruses, has the greatest potential to impact those with weakened immune systems," said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, director of ODH. "We have been seeing a mild illness in most individuals infected with the H3N2v virus, so there's no need for alarm. However, it is important for those at-risk individuals to take extra precautions, like avoiding swine exhibits to protect themselves."

Ohio is currently reporting 102 cases of H3N2v statewide. Those with confirmed cases of H3N2v are between the ages of 6 months and 61 years old. Most ill individuals have recovered on their own or were treated and released after a short stay in the hospital.

County of Residence/Number of H3N2v Cases Confirmed:

Ashland-1

Athens-8

Butler-17

Champaign-15

Clark-3

Fairfield-1

Franklin-4

Gallia-12

Greene-6

Hamilton-3

Henry-6

Huron-3

Jackson-1

Lake-1

Licking-2

Madison-1

Medina-1

Monroe-2

Montgomery-2

Morrow-1

Preble-1

Richland-2

Ross-7

Union-1

Warren-1

At this time, surveillance indicates that the individuals most likely became ill with the flu virus after exposure to swine. At-risk individuals should avoid exposure to pigs and swine barns during this fair season.

At-risk individuals include:

  • Children under 5
  • Adults 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain chronic conditions, such as asthma and other lung diseases, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurologic or neurodevelopmental disorders

Those attending fairs should remember:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals
  • Never eat, drink or put things in your mouth in animal areas. Additionally, don't take food or drink into animal areas
  • Leave baby strollers parked outside of areas with pigs
  • Young children, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, as well as people with weakened immune systems, should be extra careful around animals
  • If you have animals, including swine, watch them for signs of illness and call a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick
  • Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill, when possible
  • Avoid contact with swine if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms

If you are sick:

  • If you are at high risk and you get flu symptoms, call a health care provider. Tell them about your risk factor, other medical conditions and your flu symptoms. If you have recently been exposed to swine, tell them.
  • If you are not at high risk and you get flu symptoms after exposure to pigs, seek medical care as you normally would.

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