Swine Flu Detected in Humans who had Direct Contact with Pigs

BALTIMORE (August 17, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has identified the influenza virus strain influenza A (H3N2v), in six Queen Anne’s County residents (five children and one adult) who had direct contact with pigs. In addition, the Maryland Department of Agriculture identified influenza A with a similar testing pattern in pigs from four Queen Anne’s County farms with which the sick people had contact. The pig testing is preliminary and will be confirmed by additional testing. H3N2v is the same virus strain that has been found recently in a number of other states.

 

None of the infected individuals has developed serious illness or been hospitalized. Symptoms are the same as seasonal flu and include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as sore throat and cough.

 

Human cases of this influenza strain have been identified in eight other states, including West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The virus was first detected in humans in 2011. Since July 2012, CDC has reported 224 cases of H3N2v. Nationally, there have been eight hospitalizations and no deaths. Most cases have occurred in children, and almost all cases have had contact with swine. In some rare cases, the virus seems to have spread from person-to-person. So far, spread has not continued beyond one or two people. 

 

As a result of the positive tests, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health inspectors are on heightened surveillance, monitoring pigs at agricultural fairs around the state more closely for flu-like symptoms. Pigs with any suspicious symptoms or characteristics will be tested on site, with samples sent to the MDA Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory in Salisbury, which was recently approved by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory for the testing of swine flu. Fairs are currently underway in Montgomery and Worcester Counties. MDA has also sent outreach and education materials, as well as made personal contact, with fair sponsors, extension agents, veterinarians and fair liaisons, to educate them about swine flu and precautions that should be taken. Private veterinarians who encounter swine with suspected influenza like illness should contact the State Veterinarian at 410-841-5810 or (after hours at: 410-841-5971.)

 

Influenza is an infection caused by the influenza virus. It can affect people and other animals, including pigs and birds. There are vaccines against some strains. There is also medication that can be used to treat an influenza infection. Most people recover from illness without receiving medication; however certain people are at higher risk for complications of influenza. Those at higher risk are children under five, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic heart, lung, liver, kidney and neurologic conditions or immunosuppression.

 

The spread of influenza, including the possible spread of H3N2v, between humans can be prevented by:

·         Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

·         Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand rub may be used.

·         Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

·         Trying to avoid close contact with sick people.

·         If you are sick, staying home from work or school.

·         Getting the seasonal influenza vaccine when it becomes available. Although it is not effective against H3N2v, it is protective against other common strains of influenza.

 

The spread of influenza between pigs and humans can be prevented by:

·         Washing your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.

·         Never eating, drinking or putting things in your mouth in animal areas.

·         Considering avoiding exposure to pigs and swine barns this summer, especially if sick pigs have been identified and if you are high risk of complications from influenza.

·         Watching your farm animals, including pigs, for signs of illness and calling a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick.

·         Avoiding close contact with animals that look or act ill, and

·         Avoiding contact with pigs if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

 

DHMH recommends that people with influenza-like illness who have risk factors for complications or with serious illness contact their healthcare provider and inform them if they have had pig contact within the past seven days. 

 

“Information on Swine Influenza/Variant Influenza Viruses” is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/

 

 

 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Crystal Bell will participate in "Walkable Communities" training program.


Snow Hill, MD - America Walks, a national advocacy organization working to empower communities to create safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk, announced today that they are awarding Crystal Bell, of Worcester County Health Department, a Walking College Fellowship as part of the 2018 program. The Fellowship will enable Bell and other advocates from around the country to participate in a five-month training program designed to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable and livable.

Read more ...

Cases are on the Rise—Effects can be Harmful and Deadly

Baltimore, MD (April 17, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Poison Center have reported the fourth hospitalization in Maryland from individuals experiencing risk of severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids, which are often called Spice, K2, Bliss, Scooby Snax, or fake weed. 

Read more ...

Click on an event below to register for that event and get more info:

 

 

Fatalities related to intoxication down in Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico in 2017

Snow Hill, MD- Deaths related to drug and alcohol intoxication, including opioid overdoses, are down in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset Counties, according to 3rd Quarter 2017 Overdose Data released by the Maryland Department of Health last week. From January through September 2016, compared to the same period in 2017, intoxication fatalities are down 20-percent in Somerset County, 42-percent in Worcester County, and 32-percent in Wicomico County. The drop-off in the Tri-County region comes at a time when overall drug and alcohol related deaths in Maryland are on the rise.

Read more ...

Directs Attorney General to File Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers; Announces Plans to Convert Former City Jail into a Secure Treatment Facility, Enhance Data Sharing Among First Responders, Strengthen Volume Dealer Law to Include Fentanyl

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today unveiled a series of executive actions and proposed legislation to continue the administration’s aggressive fight against the heroin and opioid crisis. The governor also authorized the Attorney General to file suit against select opioid manufacturers and distributors on the grounds that they have misled the public and helped to create the addiction crisis gripping Maryland and the nation.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program