Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Swine Flu Sweeps Fairs ; Vanderburgh County Farmer Quarantines Hogs

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Swine Flu Sweeps Fairs ; Vanderburgh County Farmer Quarantines Hogs

Article excerpt

Swine flu, which has sickened more than 200 people in a half- dozen states this month, is why Vanderburgh County hog farmer Brian Schmitt keeps his herd quarantined. By keeping people away from his hogs and not allowing any that are taken off his property to return, Schmitt lessens the chances his animals will get sick.

First identified last summer, the H3N2v strain of the influenza virus showed up earlier this month in hogs being shown at county fairs north of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then some fairs have canceled hog shows in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading. At the recent Indiana State Fair, a swine show was canceled, and some 4-Hers were asked to take their pigs home after a few hogs were recorded with high temperatures.

The virus is normally transmitted only from hog-to-hog, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but people who are in proximity to sick animals can sometimes develop the flu. Transmission of the virus is most likely to occur, according to the CDC, when an infected pig coughs or sneezes and droplets with influenza virus in them spread through the air. Some evidence also indicates a person might get infected by touching something that has virus on it and then touching his own mouth or nose. A third way to possibly get infected is to inhale dust containing influenza virus.

As of Friday, the CDC reported the development of 225 cases of H3N2v influenza in humans nationwide during August. Of those, 138 cases had been reported in Indiana, 72 in Ohio and three in Illinois.

So far, according to the CDC, transmission of the flu has been only from animal to human and no instances of human-to-human transmission have been reported.

Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide.

"I used to raise hogs myself and pigs get sick just like humans do," said Warrick County 4-H Agriculture and Natural Resources educator Amanda Mosiman.

Different viruses pop up in the swine community every couple of years, Schmitt said. …

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