Thousands may have been exposed to swine flu at Michigan local fair

Swine flu scare hits Michigan local fair: Thousands of families warned of possible exposure after pigs test positive – for the second year in a row

  • Pigs at the Fowlerville Family Fair in Michigan started showing swine flu symptoms on Thursday, July 25
  • They tested positive the next day and were removed from the fairgrounds 
  • No humans have reported contracting the disease yet
  • This is the second year in a row pigs at the Fowlerville Family Fair have been detected with the disease, with two residents falling ill last year

Pigs at a local fair in Michigan have tested positive for swine flu for the second year in a row.

Health officials said in a release that the pigs at the Fowlerville Family Fair, which was attended by thousands of families, first began showing symptoms in the afternoon on Thursday, July 25. 

The pigs were isolated and confirmed to have swine flu the next day, and they were removed from the fairgrounds, according to the Livingston County Health Department (LCHD)

So far, no humans have reported illness, but officials are warning anyone who was in close contact with the infected pigs to keep an eye out for any signs of swine flu.

Pigs at the Fowlerville Family Fair in Michigan started showing swine flu symptoms on Thursday, July 25 (file image) 

This is the second year in a row that pigs at the Fowlerville Family Fair have tested positive, according to WXYZ.

However, last year, two cases of influenza A were confirmed in residents who were exposed to the sick pigs.     

‘The LCHD is also instructing healthcare providers in the area to watch for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms who report exposure to swine or who visited the swine barn,’ a statement released on Saturday read.

‘In addition, any individuals who attended the fair and were exposed to the pigs who begin to have influenza-like symptoms should contact LCHD.’ 

The news comes not long after Michigan health officials urged people to take precautions to avoid swine flu at county and local fairs statewide. 

Swine influenza is a respiratory disease in pigs that’s caused by type A influenza viruses. 

Typically, swine flu viruses don’t infect humans, but human infections have been reported.

The most infamous occurred during the 2009-10 flu season when a strain known as H1N1 – a combination of pigs, bird and humans – infected millions worldwide.

It’s estimated there were 60.8 million cases nearly 12,500 deaths in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Signs of infection can include a cough, runny nose, chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Symptoms usually appear within three days being exposed, but can occur as late as 10 days after exposure. 

Precautions to help avoid swine flu include refraining from eating or drinking in livestock barns or show rings.