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Illinois Sees First Case Of New Swine Flu Strain

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CHICAGO (CBS) – State health officials have confirmed Illinois’ first case of Swine Flu this year.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said the U.S. has seen an uptick this year in the number of cases of H3N2v Swine Flu, a relatively new strain. But the case of an Illinois boy who contracted it is the only one of 146 cases nationwide that is in Illinois.

“Four states total, and the vast majority have been in Indiana, followed by Ohio,” he said.

The other states are Hawaii and Illinois.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Hasbrouck said the Illinois boy did have contact with pigs at the Coles County Fair, which ended on Sunday.

He said most of the people who have contracted this particular strain of flu have one thing in common.

“They’ve had some exposure to farm animals – swine – be it at agricultural fairs, or some occupational exposure,” he said. “We would encourage more vigilance (from) folks who are attending county fairs, or state fairs, or other agricultural fairs, and venues where they might have contact.”

Hasbrouck also advised people to get a flu shot, even though it doesn’t protect against H3N2v Swine Flu.

“This year’s flu vaccine is not formulated to cover this particular strain, but … we are advising folks to go in and get their flu shot anyway,” he said.

Hasbrouck advised people to be especially vigilant about washing their hands, and covering their mouths when they cough.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and fatigue. The illness can last up to two weeks. The very young, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions are more vulnerable to the flu than others.

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