CDC Reports Spike In New Swine Flu Strain [AUDIO]
A new warning if you're taking your kids to the county fair this summer. Health officials are seeing an increase in cases of a new strain of swine flu in humans.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention say sixteen people have been infected with a new strain of influenza A, H3N2 in the last three weeks.
None of the cases were in New Jersey and so far no one has died from the new flu. The new strain has infected 21 people since 2011.
"So far all of those cases reported having contact with pigs" said Tom Skinner, a spokesman at the CDC. "We're not seeing any sustained transmission human to human, but we're keeping an eye out.
He says the new strain has a certain gene that could make it more contagious.
"This one has acquired a gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus that affected humans around the world causing a pandemic, so it is something we are monitoring closely."
Just because there hasn't been an outbreak in New Jersey, doesn't mean we couldn't see cases here, said Skinner.
"It is something that is fairly new and only recently have we seen an uptick in cases, some in Ohio, one in Hawaii and a few other states, but we need to make sure we have good surveillance in place so that we can detect cases if and when they do occur."
Since this is the time of year when fairs are going on, people should take certain precautions.
"People need to wash their hands with soap and running water before and after touching pigs, they should not eat or drink anything near pigs or other farm animals, its really a lot of common sense" he added.