Swine influenza, sometimes referred to as swine flu, is a virus that commonly circulates in the pig population. Influenza viruses are classified by the types and further classified by strains. Like people, pigs are susceptible to many strains of flu.

Swine influenza is a zoonotic disease and can occasionally be transmitted to humans. Human infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Exhibitors and caretakers are those at highest risk and should be following proper biosecurity to protect themselves and their animals. Soap and water are very effective in deactivating/killing the virus.

Swine influenza at 2016 Michigan county fairs

Information as of August 11, 2016.

  • Swine influenza H3N2 has been confirmed at three Michigan fairs: Muskegon County Fair, Ingham County Fair and Cass County Fair.
  • Both the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and area local health departments have been contacted and are managing the situation from the perspective of human health.

Tips for helping to keep people healthy 

  • Minimize general public and exhibitor time in the barn with pigs. Consider only allowing foot traffic through one area of the barn. Minimize the physical contact between pigs and people.
  • Do not allow any food or beverages in the swine barn.
  • Communicate the need to wash hands regularly: entering and leaving barn, after touching animals and before eating. This is important for both exhibitors and fair visitors.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers and wipe stations can also be used to disinfect hands after contact with animals.
  • Seek medical care if exhibitors or visitors develop influenza-like symptoms.

Preventative Tips for Fairs & Exhibitions

As an extra precaution to protect exhibitors, the public and pigs at fairs and events, we suggest event officials implement preventative strategies at their fair or exhibition that will help to ensure  proper biosecurity and hygiene practices are followed.

Preventative Tips for Fairs & Exhibitions.

Fair and Event Resources

Find signs and other resources courtesy of MSU Extension and its partners that help the public understand the importance of good biosecurity practices.

Fair and Event Resources

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