Swine flu showing up at fairs, prompting extra precautions locally

Swine flu showing up at fairs, prompting extra precautions locally »Play Video
There's been an increase in swine flu this year nationwide and it's been showing up at county and state fairs. It's being passed from pig to person, but health officials say the strain is pretty common and doesn't seem to be very dangerous.

CANBY, Ore. - The swine flu is back and it's showing up at state and county fairs where people are contracting it from sick pigs.

Although there's been a jump in swine flu cases – 153 so far this summer – they've been concentrated in the Midwest.

Fair leaders in Oregon are being extra careful in Oregon.

The Clackamas County Fair starts Tuesday in Canby. Most animals will have arrived Monday evening, but KATU News found a few, including pigs, there earlier in the day.

Fair directors say they're being very proactive when it comes to preventing swine flu. Animals aren't even allowed off their trailers before they've been inspected and cleared by veterinarians.

Livestock owners say they'd never bring sick animals to the fair to begin with and health officials say there's no reason to avoid the fair, just use common sense if you go.

"Whenever we're touching animals, we should always wash our hands afterwards," said Clackamas County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis. "The fair's kind of a busy place and we want to make sure people leave their baby bottles, pacifiers and strollers outside the barns so they don't get dirty passing through."

There are several hand-washing stations outside the barns.

Although there haven't been any cases reported in Oregon, the Clackamas County Health Department says this strain of the virus is pretty common and they wouldn't be surprised to see it pop up here.

The good news is it doesn't seem to be particularly dangerous. Out of the 153 reported cases this summer, mostly children, no one has died and no one even needed to be hospitalized.

So far it hasn't been spreading from person to person – only pig to person.