USDA, CDC Begin Efforts to Prevent Flu Strains at Fairs
USDA and the Centers for Disease Control is working with Ohio State University Extension on strategies for county fairs to minimize the spread of H1N1 and H3N2 flu strains next year. This year – more than 300 cases of the flu were reported from swine at county fairs – with most in Ohio and Indiana. Only 12 to 13 human cases were reported last year. So Extension Veterinarian Andy Bowman says discussions include the possibility of having pigs vaccinated two-months before they go to a fair, shortening the length of time pigs are at the fair, making all shows terminal so pigs can’t go back to the herd and limiting the public’s access to barns. Remaining proactive is another major step – according to a Fair Board President – meaning hand sanitizers in livestock barns and exits will most likely stay. It’s all about keeping people – and the animals – safe.