Health officials recommend precautions to avoid flu at fair
Among the highlights of the Waupaca County Fair are the exhibits of cows, pigs, chickens and other barnyard animals. While exhibitors keep their animals as clean as possible, some of them may carry illnesses that can be transmitted to humans.
Linda Behm, a nurse manager with the Waupaca County Health and Human Services Department, reports that a new influenza virus has been confirmed among people who exhibited pigs at county fairs in Ohio and Indiana.
Called H3N2vC, this virus appears to have been transmitted from pigs to humans at state and county fairs this summer. Most of those affected have been children.
"It doesn't appear to be an especially virulent strain," Behm said. "The children are recovering after a few days of mild, flu-like symptoms."
Behm said there is no reason to be alarmed by the virus and no cases have been reported in Wisconsin.
About 30 cases have been reported in Ohio and more than 125 in Indiana. However, no cases ahave been confirmed in Wisconsin.
In an Aug. 3 letter to county fair officials and veterinarians, State Veterinarian James Kazmierczak said those working at county fairs "should also be vigilant for any signs of illness among pigs on the grounds."
He said swine that show signs of respiratory illness should be isolated and the state should be immediately notified.
In addition to washing their hands after petting the animals, fairgoers should not bring food and drink in the animal areas.
Anyone with flu-like symptoms should not attend the fair for at least seven days after the symptoms first appeared or 24 hours after their fever breaks.
- Winchester ready to launch summer programs
- Strawberry Sam and Sally winners sought
- Book group meeting in Scandinavia
- Hospice seeks pet therapy volunteers
- Student art on display at Waupaca High School
- Senior Recognition Ceremony at WHS
- Friends of lakes group meets at Holly Center
- Lioness blood drive May 21
- Salon celebrates anniversary with street dance
- City hires new economic development director