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updated: 8/2/2013 5:23 AM

Child gets rare flu from pigs at DuPage County Fair

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  • A child contracted a rare flu after handling pigs at the DuPage County Fair last month.

      A child contracted a rare flu after handling pigs at the DuPage County Fair last month.
    Courtesy of the DuPage County Fair

 
 

A child contracted a rare form of flu after handling pigs at the DuPage County Fair last month, the Illinois Department of Public Health said today.

The case of H3N2v flu is the first case in Illinois this year and is typically only passed from pigs to people. There's little danger the disease is contagious among people.

The Boone County child has shown mild flu symptoms after helping out a swine exhibitor at the DuPage County Fair. The symptoms of H3N2v flu resemble those that are associated with seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu that was prominent in 2009.

State health officials say the one Illinois case of H3N2v flu shouldn't keep people away from fairs but said they should take precautions.

"The H3N2v virus is relatively new, but the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and our federal partners are monitoring this situation closely," said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. "We want you to enjoy your time at the state or county fair, so one key thing to do to stay healthy is to wash your hands frequently, especially if you are around swine."

The Illinois State Fair starts next week in Springfield.

In addition to washing your hands frequently, officials suggest fairgoers not take food or drink into animal areas and keep items that may come in contact with children -- like pacifiers or blankets -- away from animals like pigs.

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