Aug
21
2012

Pigs at the fair?

Am I a flu risk?: A new strain of pig-borne flu virus my just shut down the doors to the public of the Minnesota State Fair swine barn this summer.
Am I a flu risk?: A new strain of pig-borne flu virus my just shut down the doors to the public of the Minnesota State Fair swine barn this summer.Courtesy wattpublishing
I don’t know if you are following the recent news about a new flu strain or not but it looks like the strain (H3N2v) is now in MN. Pigs can spread this virus to other pigs and humans through airborne droplets (coughs and sneezes). If you are a meat eater, don’t worry you can’t catch it by eating pork.

Will you be visiting the pig barns at the Minnesota State fair this year?

Background:
One case of the new swine flu (H3N2v) has been confirmed in MN. For information about this new strain see the fact sheet posted at flu.gov . I’ve heard 3 different reports on how concerned we should be about the situation:

  • MN Department of Health
  • – feel free to visit the swine barn unless you are in a high-risk group (Children under five and people age 65 and older, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or neurological problems). Remember don’t bring food in the barn (I’m always amazed when I see people eating in the barns at the fair, but this is due to food borne illness not the flu), and wash your hands after visiting the barns.

  • MN State Fair
  • – It is safe to visit the barns and fair officials have been taking extra precautions.

  • Dr. Mike Osterholm
  • , Director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) commented on MN public radio that he feels pigs should not be allowed at the fair – there is too much risk. The CIDRAP website has a summary of the situation as well.

    Do you think Dr. Osterholm is being alarmist or is the threat real? Will you be visiting the swine barn at the fair? What questions do you have about the situation? Do you need more information? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Thor's picture
Thor says:

Also, visitors at SMM right now can vote on a poll at the Level 5 Science Buzz kiosk if they think this new flu virus will change their fair-visiting habits.

posted on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:38am
Thor's picture
Thor says:

Just to follow-up on the recent posts, the Minnesota State Fair has decided to allow the public access to the swine barn this year, even in light of heightened risk of H3N2v flu. You can read all the details about the decision here.

posted on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 9:26am
cheyenne meade 's picture
cheyenne meade says:

one year I didn`t get to see the pigs beacause it was flu season. from a 9 year old from miami county

posted on Sat, 02/23/2013 - 11:45am

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