Swine flu confirmed in pigs at Jackson County Fair

China produces and consumes two-thirds of the world’s pork, but output is plunging as Beijing destroys herds and blocks shipments to stop African swine fever./ Source: Photo- Pixabay (MGN Online)
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JACKSON, MI (WILX) - Michigan's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have identified 10 pigs at the Jackson County Fair that tested positive for swine influenza.

The fair started August 4 and will conclude on August 10.

Pigs showing symptoms were tested and results were positive for swine influenza.

The ill pigs were removed from the fairgrounds after testing and there are currently no reported human illnesses.

All healthy pigs have also been removed from the fairgrounds and the pig barns have been closed for the remainder of the fair.

The Jackson County Health Department, in coordination with the Jackson County Fair Board and the MSU Extension Office, is reaching out to exhibitors and their families with more detailed information.

The Jackson County Health Department is also urging health care providers in the area to watch for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms who also report exposure to swine or who visited the fair.

Pigs may be infected with swine influenza viruses that are different from human flu viruses.

Swine influenza can spread quickly between pigs and, while rare, can pass to humans through droplets in the air when sick pigs cough or sneeze.

Human symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu and can include fever, cough, runny nose, and sometimes body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Symptoms usually appear within three days of exposure but can occur up to 10 days.

State health officials say, individuals exposed to the pigs at the fair who begin to show symptoms should see their healthcare provider and inform them of possible exposure.

They add that sometimes swine flu causes severe disease even in healthy people, such as pneumonia, which may require hospitalization.

People who are at high risk of developing complications if they get swine flu infection include children younger than five years of age, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic health disease, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological conditions.

Currently there is no vaccine for swine flu, and the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against swine flu.

However, antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, are effective in treating swine flu infections, and are only available through a prescription from your healthcare professional.

Early treatment works best and may be especially important for people with high-risk conditions.

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