Local fair takes precautions to avoid swine flu - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local fair takes precautions to avoid swine flu


14 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the state of Wisconsin. Health officials say all of those cases are linked back to individuals who were exposed to pigs at fairs. That's why organizers at the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marshfield are taking action.

Hand sanitizer, signs and a hand washing station are what's new at this years Central Wisconsin State Fair.

"We've tried to be real proactive," said Fair Board Member Bruce Thorson.

It's broken out at fairs across Wisconsin. Organizers in Marshfield say they don't want it to happen here.

"All swine's have to be inspected by a vet once they leave the farm and once they arrive here a vet looks at them to see any signs of illness," said Thorson.

"Swine influenza is a virus that can be transmitted by pigs, between pigs, pigs to humans and humans back to pigs," said Wood County Health Officer Sue Kunferman.

These pigs are inspected for the H3N2 virus, or swine flu, before they arrive at the fair. That's to prevent the possibility of others becoming sick, since the 14 people with the flu in Wisconsin were exposed to pigs. And the fair is taking doing more to help people stay healthy.

"A lot of hand sanitizing stations, hygiene and signs, and that's the biggest thing of preventing something like this," said Thorson.

But despite the extra effort, people we spoke with say they're not concerned about the flu.

"I pay attention to the signs and it's beneficiary to wash your hands but I'm not going to run to the bathroom after this," said Marshfield resident John Domine.

And health officials say the strain is a mild one. But it could be harmful for the elderly, children and pregnant women. That's why they encourage everyone to be careful so they can stay clear of the virus.

For more information on this new strain of swine flu visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-outbreak.htm

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