From the Indiana
State Department of Health
Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana Board of Animal Health, and
the LaPorte County Health Department are actively investigating an outbreak
of four human illnesses associated with the LaPorte County Fair, held July
8-14. All four individuals had direct contact with swine and all four cases
are now recovered.
The State Health Department continues to collect information
to determine the extent of the illnesses. Symptoms reported include cough,
fever and sore throat. Confirmed test results on patient specimens indicate
the cause as a variant influenza A virus. Swine specimens also tested
positive for this virus.
Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from swine to
people and from people to swine. Human infections are most likely to occur
when people are in close proximity to live infected swine, such as in barns
and livestock exhibits at fairs. Influenza viruses are not transmitted by
eating pork and pork products.
Since 2011, 17 human cases of variant influenza A virus have
been identified nationwide. Six of these cases have been identified in
Individuals should always wash hands with soap and water
before and after petting or touching any animal. Never eat, drink, or put
anything in your mouth in animal areas. Older adults, pregnant women, young
children, and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful
Hoosiers who have direct, routine contact with swine, such
as working in swine barns or showing swine at fairs, and have experienced
cough or influenza-like illness should contact their health care provider or
local health department. Symptoms include cough, sore throat, fever, body
aches, and possibly other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
While influenza is not an uncommon diagnosis in pigs, the
State Board of Animal Health encourages swine owners to contact a
veterinarian if their animals show signs consistent with flu, including
coughing, respiratory illness, off-feed and fever. Most county fairs have a
private veterinary practitioner on call for on-site assistance.
information regarding influenza can be found at the Indiana State Department
of Health website at