Health officials have seen an uptick in cases of a new strain of swine flu in humans.
According to the latest flu report published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 people have been infected with a new strain of an influenza A (H3N2) swine flu virus in just the past three weeks. Twelve of them were infected in the last full week of July.
Among those 12 newest cases, the CDC says 10 people were infected in Ohio; Indiana and Hawaii have reported one case each as well.
According to the CDC, so far a total of 29 people have been infected with this new H3N2 strain: 12 in 2011, one earlier in 2012 and 16 in the past three weeks.
Nobody was hospitalized this year, and only three of the 12 cases last year required hospitalization. Nobody has died from this new flu.
Everyone diagnosed with the new flu strain this year reported having contact with pigs. Most of the cases from last also reported contact with pigs -- often at county or state fairs.
"There are a few cases where no pig exposure could be found, so we think those are are human-to-human transmissions," said Dr. Joseph Bresee, an epidemiologist in the CDC's Influenza Division.
"We're not saying don't go to fairs," Bresee said, but because this is the time of year when many fairs are going on, people ought to take special precautions:
-- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after touching pigs.
-- Don't drink or eat near pigs, and don't take food into animal areas.