Six Cases of Swine Flu in Maryland

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

    Six people have been diagnosed with swine flu in Maryland.

    Five children and one adult got sick after contact with pigs at four farms in Queen Anne’s County. Pigs tested at those farms were found to have the same strain. The pigs will undergo additional testing.

    The patients did not have to be hospitalized.

    The strain is the same that has been found recently in eight other states, including West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It was first detected last year, and beginning in July, there have been 224 reported cases, eight hospitalizations and no deaths. Most patients have been children, and most cases were a result of direct contact with pigs, though there are some cases of it spreading from person-to-person.

    Maryland Department of Agriculture animal health inspectors are monitoring pigs more closely at fairs around the state.

    Swine flu symptoms are the same as the seasonal flu, including fever, sore throat and coughing.

    The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene offered tips for preventing the spread of swine flu.

    The spread of flu between people can be prevented by:

    • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand rub may be used.
    • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Trying to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • If you are sick, staying home from work or school.
    • Getting the seasonal influenza vaccine when it becomes available. Although it is not effective against H3N2v, it is protective against other common strains of influenza.

    The spread between pigs and humans can be prevented by:

    • Washing your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
    • Never eating, drinking or putting things in your mouth in animal areas.
    • Considering avoiding exposure to pigs and swine barns this summer, especially if sick pigs have been identified and if you are high risk of complications from influenza.
    • Watching your farm animals, including pigs, for signs of illness and calling a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick.
    • Avoiding close contact with animals that look or act ill, and
    • Avoiding contact with pigs if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

    More information on swine flu is available from the Centers for Disease Control.