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First Illinois case of swine flu contracted at DuPage County Fair

Published: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 3:33 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:57 p.m. CST
Caption
(Shaw media file photo)
A child who had contact with pigs in late July at the DuPage County Fair has contracted the state's first confirmed case of swine flu in 2013.

A Boone County child who had contact with pigs at the DuPage County Fair has contracted the first confirmed case of swine flu in Illinois this year, according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The child exhibited mild symptoms after helping an exhibitor at the county fair in late July, according to the release.

Illinois is the third state to confirm a reported case of swine flu this year. Indiana and Ohio have also confirmed an in-state presence of the illness.

Fair Manager Ellen Sietmann said event organizers were informed about the case Aug. 1 and have confirmed the medical status of the child. Fair officials have not yet determined which exhibit held the infected swine, she said.

Sietmann said she believed that the fair did all it could help to warn against and prevent the spread of diseases during the event. Organizers provided 28 handwashing stations and 22 hand sanitizer stations, multilingual signs about handwashing and public announcements about health safety.

"The Health Department and Department of Agriculture actually complimented us on all of the precautions we took," she said.

The DuPage County Health Department declined to comment and said that the Illinois Department of Agriculture is responding to inquiries related to the incident.

The H3N2v influenza virus is a variant of influenza A. Four human cases were confirmed last year in Illinois. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than a dozen cases in the U.S. this year, according to the health department release, all of which affected people who had contact with swine. The virus is rarely passed from person to person.

So far, the release said, the severity of swine flu illnesses in people has been similar to that of typical seasonal flu infections.

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