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Recent cases of flu in SLO County confirmed to have originated in pigs

Posted at 2:36 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 18:36:20-04

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department has confirmed that two recent cases of the flu in San Luis Obispo County are variant influenza A (H1N2v) infections, a type of flu that spreads among pigs.

Health officials say the patients had brief illnesses and have since recovered.  
Flu viruses that spread among pigs are occasionally transmitted to people who have close contact with pigs. In these local cases, health officials say the patients had extended contact with pigs at the California Mid-State Fair, where a pig infected with influenza A was present.

Health officials add that the flu cannot be transmitted by eating pork, and when the virus is transmitted from a pig to a person, it generally does not spread widely to other people and infections are usually mild.

The fair ended on July 29, and the health department says no new cases from contact with pigs at the fair are expected.

Still, those who had contact with pigs at the fair are urged to be alert for symptoms of the flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually start about one to four days after being exposed and last two to seven days.

Anyone who seeks medical attention for the flu and has had extended contact with pigs is urged to tell their health care provider about that contact. 

County health officials say the California Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture have been informed of this flu investigation.