The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), and Lapeer County Health Department (LCHD) are investigating the state’s first presumptive case of human influenza A (H3) variant (swine flu) in 2023. The individual is a Lapeer County resident who was a swine exhibitor at the Oakland County Fair held in Davisburg Michigan, July 7-16, 2023. Confirmatory testing is pending and will be conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After symptomatic swine at the Oakland County fair tested positive for Influenza A, OCHD received a list of exhibitors and staff from the fair. OCHD has been reaching out to these individuals and their household contacts to evaluate and monitor their health. It was during these contact tracing efforts that a Lapeer County resident was identified as having influenza-like respiratory symptoms and later tested positive for presumptive influenza A (H3)v at the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories (BOL).
Swine influenza is a respiratory disease in pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that regularly circulate among swine. Human variant influenza infections have most commonly been reported after close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Respiratory droplets with influenza virus from the cough or sneeze of an infected pig can spread the virus through the air. People cannot get swine flu from eating properly prepared pork or handling pork products.
Human symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu and can include fever, cough, runny nose, and sometimes body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within three days of exposure but can occur up to 10 days later. The monitoring period for individuals who exhibited at the Oakland County Fair will end on July 27, 2023. People who are at highest risk of developing complications if they are infected with swine flu include children younger than five years of age, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic health disease, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological conditions.
Currently, there is no human vaccine for swine flu. However, prescription antiviral drugs are effective in treatment, especially if administered to asymptomatic individuals as post-exposure prophylaxis or shortly after illness onset. During this fair season, providers should report any cases of influenza-like illness after exposure to pigs or fairs to the local health department. For more information, contact the MDHHS Communicable Disease Division at 517-335-8165 or visit: