Influenza A virus found in two people following exposure to infected pig

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The individuals were exposed to a pig at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, California that was infected with influenza. They have recovered after experiencing brief illnesses.

Influenza viruses that are spread among pigs are occasionally transmitted to people who have close contact with pigs. When this happens, the infections in humans are called variant influenza virus infections, and are usually mild, with symptoms similar to those of the flu.

Person-to-person transmission of variant influenza viruses is not common, and people cannot get it by eating pork.

"Visiting animals can be one of the highlights of the fair," said Dr. Karen Smith, CDPH Director, and State Public Health Officer. "It is important to remember to practice good hygiene when working with or visiting animals."

There are steps you can take to protect you and your family at the fair, zoo, petting zoo or other settings where pigs are present.

-Wash your hands with soap and running water after any exposure to animals.

-Don't eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth while in an area where animals are housed or exhibited.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth until you have exited the animal area and washed your hands with soap and running water.

-Don't take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers or similar items into animal areas.

-Avoid contact with animals that look or act ill.

-People in high-risk groups should take extra care around animals. These include senior citizens, children under five, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system or chronic health conditions.

For more information about variant influenza viruses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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