After concerns about potential flu in several pigs and a rash of illness among swine across the state, the State Fair sent home most of the animals housed in its swine barn. Even though humans have tested positive for influenza A, the state says it’s not a cause for concern.
Though tests across Indiana have confirmed swine flu in the last several weeks, most recently in Monroe County, no flu has been identified in any animals or humans at the State Fair.
State Board of Animal Health spokesperson Denise Derrer says animal illness is a fairly common occurrence at fairs.
“What we’re seeing that’s a little unusual this year is it seems to be an influenza virus or two – we’ve had more than one strain diagnosed,” she says. “It just seems that that’s what’s cropping up this year and we’re not sure exactly what’s going on that it’s this.”
Indiana Pork spokesperson Sarah Ford is quick to note it’s not an epidemic…and she says the public doesn’t need to worry.
“Consumers should have zero concern about eating pork products,” she says. “You cannot get the flu from eating pork products.”
And both Derrer and Ford say it’s safe for the public to continue visiting the swine barn at the State Fair; they simply advise people to wash their hands thoroughly after doing so.