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Department Of Health Reports Additional Cases Of New Flu Strain In Pennsylvania

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There are two confirmed cases and one probably human case of influenza due to a new strain of the flue known as H3N2v, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The three cases involved children at the Somerset County Fair between August 18th and 25th.

While this strain is typically associated with swine, health officials emphasize that handling or eating pork products does not present a risk of exposure to influenza. There were no reported hospitalizations. While the investigation is still ongoing, health officials say there is no evidence to date of the new flu strain spreading from person-to-person in Pennsylvania.

Nationwide, a total of 288 cases have been confirmed. The illnesses reported in Pennsylvania are mostly in children and are typical for the flu.

While the H3N2v strain is typically associated with swine, the Department of Health emphasized that handling or eating pork products presents no risk of exposure to influenza.

People at high risk of influenza complications should use caution and should avoid areas where live pigs are displayed. Those at high risk include:
• Children less than 5 years of age;
• People 65 years of age and above;
• Pregnant women; and
• People with certain chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of the H3N2v flu are similar to that of seasonal influenza, and would include fever, coughing, fatigue, and lack of appetite. Other influenza symptoms may include a runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches, eye irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Additional information on H3N2v can be found on the Department of Health web page at www.health.state.pa.us or on the website of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov.