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Monroe County Flu Cases Are More Than Half Of State’s Total

Monroe County's 68 cases appear to have started with pigs and spread to humans.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin says state officials have confirmed 113 human swine flu cases across the state so far this year — 68 of them in Monroe County. Larkin says cases have been reported in 18 counties, and doesn’t believe any of them are connected to the Indiana State Fair.

He says the cases involve animal handlers at county fairs and people near infected animals. Health officials have not yet determined if there’s been any person to person transmission, but are investigating. Larkin says last year at this time the state had just 12 confirmed cases. Larkin attributes the rise to normal cycle patterns of ailment strains.

He says there’s not a vaccine for this flu strain yet, but believes there will be one in the near future.

“There is not a vaccine available for the Variant Influenza A flu only because it‘s a relatively new viral strain. I‘m very confident within a year or two a vaccine will be available. At this point it is not,” Larkin says.

Larkin says the virus can be directly transmitted from swine to people and from people to swine, but not by eating pork and pork products.

Impacted counties include: Bartholomew, Greene, Hamilton, Hendricks, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Porter, Scott, Tipton, Washington, and White

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