Fairgoers sound off on H3N2 swine flu - KMSP-TV

Fairgoers sound off on H3N2 swine flu

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The Minnesota State Fair is taking extra precautions to protect the health of patrons this year now that a new strain of swine flu has cropped up in Minnesota, and FOX 9 News asked fairgoers if they're fretting over the flu or not.

The big draw in the swine barn is a 1,200-pound boar named Cornhog, and people who came in say they aren't worried about contracting swine flu as long as they're careful.

Signs in the area are reminding fairgoers not to touch the pigs and to avoid eating or drinking inside the swine barn. There are also several busy hand washing stations that show people are putting a priority on hygiene after visiting with the hogs.

State fair veterinarians and nurses are monitoring the animals and people inside the swine barn to ensure symptoms do not emerge.

An independent consumer protection consulting firm was hired to assess the fair's livestock facilities over two days, and the study concluded that the current protection measures are sound, clear and consistent.

Experts say those without chronic health conditions should have no problem visiting the pig barns at the State Fair as long as they are careful not to eat or drink anything inside and wash their hands upon leaving.

More than 90 percent of H3N2 cases nationwide have been found in children, though only a handful have been hospitalized. Experts say this strain of swine flu is mild.

While the flu can spread from pigs to humans by contact with an infected animal or its environment, it cannot be contracted by eating pork.

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