By David Knox
The Ohio Department of Health reports the number of cases of swine flu in the state has reached 79, including one case in Medina County.
The total is more than double the number reported a week earlier, and it is about a third of all cases of human swine flu reported nationwide.
Health and agriculture officials released the new Ohio total Friday for the H3N2 variant of the influenza A strain, known for spreading from pigs to people.
No serious illnesses have been reported. Health officials said several people have been hospitalized but were released after treatment.
Information about the one case in Medina County was not available.
There are cases in 21 of Ohio’s 88 counties, with Butler County, in the southwest corner of the state, reporting the most, 17.
The first cases came late last month when dozens of Butler County fairgoers — almost all children — became sick. Health officials said the disease likely was spread by direct contact with swine at the fair.
As a precaution, Medina County Fair officials posted signs cautioning visitors not to touch the pigs.
Ohio Health Department officials said the 79 people afflicted so far in Ohio range in age from 6 months to 36 years old.
Swine flu does not normally infect humans, but outbreaks have occurred periodically, officials said.
The human variant of swine flu has symptoms similar to ordinary human seasonal influenza, including fever, tiredness, lack of appetite and coughing, officials said. Some people also have reported runny nose, sore throat, eye irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The Health Department said preventive measures include washing hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals and not eating in areas where there are animals.
Young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems are warned to be especially careful around animals.
The Associated Press contributed to his report.
Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or email@example.com.
Butler, 17; Champaign, 13; Gallia, 11; Athens, 5; Greene, 5; Franklin, 4; Ross, 4; Clark, 3; Hamilton, 3; Henr,y 2; Monroe, 2; Ashland, 1; Fairfield, 1; Jackson, 1; Licking, 1; Medina, 1; Montgomey, 1; Morrow, 1; Preble, 1; Union, 1; Warren, 1.
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