First case of swine flu detected in Michigan

The first case of H3N2 influenza, better known as swine flu, has been detected in Michigan.

State laboratory results indicate a child in Washtenaw County tested positive for the virus.

The child, who was exposed to swine at Ingham County Fair, experienced mild illness and was not hospitalized.

The state lab results will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a press release today, Dr. Dean Sienko, Interim Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Community Health says that simple steps can be taken to protect your health.

"While this strain of flu is new to Michigan, it's important that people remember the common-sense simple steps that can be take to protect their health as we would with any flu season," Dr. Sienko said.

He goes on to say that washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and staying home when you feel sick are some of the best ways to protect yourself and others.

"This is not a food safety issue as influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You cannot get influenza from eating pork or pork products," said Dr. Nancy Frank, Assistant State Veterinarian for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nationwide, all identified swine flu cases have been similar to the common flu. Certain people are at a more serious risk of complications, however, including young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term medical conditions.

Most human infections occur after direct contact with pigs, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The MDCH urges those who have contact with pigs to wash their hands frequently, do not eat or drink in pig areas, and if you own pigs, to watch for sickness in your animals and call a veterinarian if they appear to be sick.