Indiana Swine Flu Cases Increase 10-Fold, Hits 113
Swine flu is spreading rapidly throughout Indiana, with the number of human cases rising 10-fold in the last week, health officials said on Wednesday. The total number of human cases is at 113 now, with more expected to become infected.
The total number of cases jumped from just 11 last week and has been seen in 18 counties across the state. On Monday, health officials closed the swine barn at a state fair early after one pig had a fever -- a symptom of swine flu.
"It's important for folks to remember this is a mild illness with symptoms similar to what we see with seasonal flu," Dr. Gregory Larkin, the state's health commissioner, said, according to Fox News.
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Swine flu symptoms include a high fever, unusual tiredness, headache, runny nose sore throat, shortness of breath, cough, loss of appetite, aching muscles, diarrhea or vomiting. Most swine flu cases are mild, but children, the elderly and pregnant women are at risk of complications.
Swine flu rarely jumps from pigs to humans, but can be spread when people stand near or touch an infected pig. For that reason, health officials are urging people to wash their hands well after coming into contact with one.
"We believe most of these cases are still due to contact with pigs," CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said on Wednesday. "However, limited human-to-human transmission with this virus has been observed in the past and we expect that some human to human spread will be observed in these current outbreaks."
The World Health Organization in 2009 declared swine flu the first global flu pandemic in 40 years. Initial reports had mortality rate of swine flu as 1 in 15, which would have made it one of the most deadly flus in history. Those reports have been amended after more cases were detected, and it is now considered a seasonal flu and included in the flu vaccine.
The World Health Organization estimates that the flu causes 3 million to 5 million cases of severe illness around the globe every year. It says about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths result, primarily among the elderly and the chronically ill.
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