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Bartholomew County has one confirmed case of swine flu, a day after the state released findings that the virus is spreading in Indiana, local and state health officials said Thursday
The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed 113 cases of variant influenza, more generally referred to as swine flu, which causes symptoms such as sore throat, cough and fever. It’s believed to be transmitted between humans and pigs, but Gregory Larkin, state health commissioner, said the possibility of human-to-human transmission becomes increasingly likely as the strain evolves.
“We have not seen a case that’s going human to human,” Larkin said. “But we’re highly suspecting that will happen.”
To avoid contracting the virus, Hoosiers are being encouraged to wash their hands before and after being around animals and to avoid touching their mouths after touching animals. It’s potentially deadly for people with weakened immune systems, and “the other way (it’s deadly) is if the virus itself changes. They change all the time,” Larkin said.
This particular virus is different than swine flus of the past.
“If people think the flu shot they got a few years ago will cover them for what was then known as the swine flu, it will not,” said Carla Wolff, head of nursing at the Bartholomew County Health Department.
About 40 cases have been confirmed in nearby Monroe County. The virus has spread to 18 counties. More cases are expected to be confirmed this week.
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