UPDATE: Swine flu confirmed in Ingham County pig

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MASON, Mich (WILX) - Two pigs at two separate county fairs have tested positive for the same strain of swine flu, H3N2.

State veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. James Averill, says this specific strain is not unusual.

"It's not shocking to see that it's the same sub-type of H3N2. What we don't know is are those two pigs associated with one another," Dr. Averill.

While the department figures out just how these two got the disease the health department is working on making sure it doesn't spread.

Two people in Muskegon county caught the virus from pigs. As of now, there are no reports of it happening here.

"We want to make sure we identify anyone who potentially does get sick," said Vail.

To protect the community, the health department is asking everyone who went to the fair in Mason to monitor themselves until August 16. The monitoring date is the 16th because it is 10 days after the fair ended.

"They're checking in daily via email and just verifying they don't have any symptoms," Vail said.

Swine flu viruses are different from the common flu but the symptoms are similar. Fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, vomiting, or diarrhea.

"You can't tell that just based on what the signs are exhibiting," Dr. Averill. "That's where when people have clinical signs such as influenza like illnesses. We encourage them to seek medical treatment."

It's rare for the virus to spread to people but it is possible.

With no cases of swine flu in pigs at fairs last year and now two, it has both agriculture and health departments focused.

"There's just a lot of monitoring of these flu that are in animals that can occasionally get in humans," Vail said. "Just to make sure we don't start the progression from human to human."

While the pig definitely had swine flu, veterinarians have not confirmed the exact cause of death.

The Jackson county fair has safeguards for its pig exhibits. People are not allowed to eat in the barns and visitors are encouraged to wash their hands frequently.

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August 8th 10:00AM --- We now know the type of influenza strain found in a pig at the Ingham County Fair in Mason.

The Department of Agriculture confirms the pig has tested positive for Influenza A (H3N2).

The pig died suddenly on August 4 at the fairgrounds but the Department of Agriculture is unsure if the pig died from swine flu.

By the next day multiple animal exhibit's were closed at the Ingham County Fairgrounds as a precautionary measure.

H3N2 is the same strain found in Muskegon County where two people had contracted the illness from an infected pig at the county fair.

It is unknown at this time if any humans have contracted the illness in Ingham County.

Experts urge fair goers to keep their hands clean before and after visiting animal exhibits. Avoid bringing food or drinks with you inside of animal barns.

"If you have a fever, feeling tired, or worn down, you should be seeking medial treatment at that point and have a conversation with a doctor to see if this is something of concern," said James Averill, the State Veterinarian and Director of Animal Industry Division at the Michigan Department of Agriculture.