- The unnamed patient was visiting an agricultural fair where he caught the virus
- Two others were infected with H1N1 in 2023 after contact with infected pigs
- READ MORE: Rare Brazilian swine flu death sparks terror and a CDC investigation
A third case of swine flu in the US this year was confirmed in an unnamed patient who had recently been in contact with pigs at a fair.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the latest infection on Friday in a tweet, though it did not disclose where the person lived and attended the fair, their gender, or their age.
Swine flu, or H1N1, rarely spreads from animal to person, but the infamous 2009 outbreak was the product of the virus mutating to become capable of getting humans sick.
People can catch swine flu from contact with infected pigs, as was likely the case in the latest reported infection, though it most commonly spreads from one infected person to another through droplets in the air that enter the body when inhaled.
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of other influenza viruses and include fever, aches, chills, cough, headache, nausea, and fatigue. But cases are normally mild and clear up on their own in a few weeks with little risk of death.
The patient contracted the virus at an agricultural fair last month, where they were exposed to infected pigs
The driver of the 2009 swine flu epidemic was a strain of H1N1 that had combined bird, swine, and human influenza A viruses.
The outbreak disproportionately affected children and teens who were more susceptible to illness so severe it required hospitalization.
A report from the World Health Organization found that in 2009, the number of infections in the US reached 59 million with 265,000 hospitalized and 12,000 dead.
The latest case of three this year is concerning as it opens the door to possible transmission from human to human.
But the speed at which H1N1 cases have been cropping up this year pales in comparison to the 2009 crisis, which snowballed into a global health concern within about four weeks of the strain first being discovered in Mexico.
The most recent cases of swine flu were reported in Michigan where two unrelated people caught different strains at separate fairs in July, where they were exposed to infected pigs.
Both of them experienced mild illness and fully recovered with no evidence that they transmitted the infections to others.
Details in the latest case are scarce, but the CDC made several recommendations for other people to avoid potential infection if they find themselves at an agricultural fair.
They include avoiding pigs if a person is already prone to severe illness, do not take food or drink into areas with pigs, was hands before and after contact, and watch your pig (if you have one) for illness.