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13 September 2012 09:33
Officials in the USA are urging people to take 'common sense' precautions in response to the latest swine flu outbreak
An outbreak of a variant of the swine flu virus in America is causing officials to urge people around the country and those going there to take "common-sense" precautions. The H3N2v variant was found in pigs in America in 2010 and then in humans in 2011. There were 12 confirmed cases last year, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported as many as 297 confirmed cases already in 2012.
The disease can only be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with infected pigs, not by eating pork. Logan Boss says the variant is "relatively mild" and the risk is fairly low but that young people in particular should be wary. "The risk here of this type of flu is minimal, but we're especially trying to educate and reach young people," said the Northwest Georgia Public Health Department public information officer.
"We want all young people who might be participating in youth livestock competitions to be mindful and use those common sense training they received from their 4-H and Future Farmers of America advisors." Health officials are especially urging at-risk groups, such as children under five, people with respiratory disease or neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions, pregnant women and people over 65, to be cautious and take precautions. Boss added that the majority of previous infections "have occurred in children and have been very mild with few hospitalizations" but the issue still warrants attention and highlights the importance of
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