Three confirmed cases of H3N2 flu in Illinois after contact with swine

By Audrey Williams

August 20, 2012 Updated Aug 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- Flu season is upon us and the Illinois State Health Department is confirming three cases of a recently developed flu virus.

Three cases have been confirmed in Illinois of what is being called the H3N2 flu virus. All three of the cases are children and none of them required hospitalization. However, all three did report having contact with swine at fairs in Central Illinois.

Health officials are urging you to take extra precautions near all farm animals, including at petting zoos.

"Once you are in there do not take any soda. Don't let your children take candy bars, pacifiers, bottles with them. Before they touch them again they need to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water or anti-bacterial gel," said Peoria Zoo director Yvonne Strode.

There are about 225 cases in nine states so far. Officials add it is no where near the magnitude of the 2009 H1N1 Swine flu outbreak.

"H1N1 was out we were preparing at this point to have clinics and we are not having anything from the state that leads us to believe that it will be that severe," said Sara Sparkman with the Tazewell County Health Department.

Currently, there is no vaccine for H3N2. Still, Officials encourage everyone who is eligible, get an annual flu shot when they become available.

H3N2 has not been shown to be transmissible by eating properly handled and prepared pork.

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