US minor catches swine flu at agriculture fair - first case this year

Since 2005, there have been 37 cases of swine flu in the US, WHO said, and 512 globally.

 Pig at pig farm (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Pig at pig farm
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

An American minor was recently infected with the swine flu A (H1N2) variant virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Saturday. The child, from Michigan, caught the virus at an agriculture fair.

Swine flu is a zoonotic disease that circulates among the pig population in many parts of the world. Humans generally catch it from exposure to an infected pig or its contaminated environment.

This is the first case of swine flu in the US this year. Since 2005, there have been 37 cases in the US, WHO said, and 512 globally.

The individual caught the virus in late July and went for testing. The case was confirmed via PCR tests in early August and reported to WHO.

"According to the report, the case is under 18 years old, with no comorbidities," WHO said, describing the individual's symptoms as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and lethargy. The individual was not hospitalized, but on August 1, the patient received an influenza antiviral treatment.

No other cases were identified from the patient's close or household contacts or the same agriculture fair.

 Swine flu illustrative (credit: INGIMAGE)
Swine flu illustrative (credit: INGIMAGE)

WHO: Swine flu infections in humans 'need to be monitored closely'

Swine flu symptoms differ depending on the geographical location. WHO said it can cause mild conjunctivitis, severe pneumonia, and even death in some people. There is no vaccine for the virus.

"Given the potential impact on public health, human infections with these viruses need to be monitored closely," WHO warned.