Influenza A(H3N2) Variant Virus Outbreak at Three Fairs - Maryland, 2017

On September 17, 2017, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) was notified by fair and 4-H officials of ill swine at agricultural fair A, held September 14–17. That day, investigation of the 107 swine at fair A revealed five swine with fever and signs of upper respiratory tract illness. All five respiratory specimens collected from these swine tested positive for influenza A virus at the MDA Animal Health Laboratory, and influenza A(H3N2) virus was confirmed in all specimens by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL). On September 18, MDA was notified by fair and 4-H officials that swine exhibitors were also ill. MDA alerted the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). A joint investigation with MDH and the local health department was started and later broadened to Maryland agricultural fairs B (September 13–17) and C (September 15–23). In total, 76 persons underwent testing for variant influenza, and influenza A(H3N2) variant (A(H3N2)v) virus infection was identified in 40 patients with exposure to swine at these fairs