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Local

First 2013 case of H3N2v flu identified in Illinois

A Boone County child has become the first person in Illinois this year to have a confirmed case of the H3N2v virus, which is a strain of the swine flu, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

According to the release, H3N2v is a form of influenza A, which first was detected in swine in 2011. The first human cases were reported last year, including four in Illinois.

The case was a Boone County youth, displaying what were described as mild symptoms, according to the release.

The child had contact with swine while helping an exhibitor at the DuPage County Fair, which took place in July.

According to the release, the severity of illnesses associated with the virus are similar to illnesses associated with seasonal flu infections.

“The H3N2v is relatively new, but the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and our federal partners are monitoring this situation closely,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, the Illinois Department of Public Health’s director. “We want you to enjoy your time at the state or county fair, so one thing to do to stay healthy is to wash your hands frequently, especially if you are around swine.”

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Tips to avoid the flu include avoiding eating while visiting animals and avoiding close contact with animals, especially swine.

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