Swine Flu Cases on the Rise, But Not a Threat to State Fair


Springfield - Pig owners will be on high alert at the Illinois State Fair.  This after a new strain of swine flu has been discovered in at least four states, including here in Illinois.

Last week the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a new strand of swine flu at the Coles County fair, prompting state fair officials this week to go into prevention mode.  The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States jumped from 29 to 158 this week, including 110 in Indiana.

The state's health department says there's no need to panic though.

Public health veterinarian Connie Austin, "most people will recover without any kind of medical attention at all."

Hog owner Eric Fugate says, "I don't think it's any different today for us concern wise than it was two weeks ago, two months ago, or two years ago.  You know, you practice health standards, you bring healthy animals to the fair, if they're sick you don't bring them."

To make sure both people and hogs are safe, state fair workers are being proactive by installing hand sanitizing stations in show barns.

"You need to go in and make sure that after you've gone through the barns that you go ahead and hand wash very carefully when come out," says Austin.

The Department of Public Health, and pig owners, both agree, the best thing to do this week is just practice good hygiene.

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