CDC increases 2017 variant flu case count to 19

Health officials identified three new cases of variant influenza among residents of North Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania who reported exposure to pigs at fairgrounds, according to the CDC's most recent FluView update.

The Pennsylvania resident  was reportedly infected out of state. The  North Dakota Department of Health on Aug. 15 reported a case of variant influenza among a state resident and an out-of-state resident.

The new cases increased the CDC's national variant flu count to 19 for 2017. Health officials have identified cases in Texas, Ohio, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. Sixteen have been reported in Ohio.

"This is the first time a North Dakota resident has tested positive for variant influenza," said Jill Baber, an epidemiologist with the NDDoH. "The child visited the North Dakota State Fair in Minot and had direct contact with pigs. The child was hospitalized, but has since been released and is recovering."

Influenza viruses endemic in pigs are referred to as "variant" viruses when they're identified in humans. To learn more about variant influenza, click here.

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