Need to Know Info

Posted July 2, 2013
Influenza A Virus in Pigs and People Associated with Fairs and Swine Shows
June 27, 2013
The county and state fair season has now begun throughout the U.S.  This week CDC confirmed the first case of Influenza A H3N2 variant (H3N2v) virus in a child that had shown swine at a county fair in Indiana.  The virus genotype is very similar to those found last summer in association with many fairs in the Midwest.  The clinical signs of illness in humans are typical influenza-like illness symptoms (coughing, fever, etc.).  This child was involved with the pig show at the fair, and it is thought that the child may have contracted the virus through swine contact. 
A subset of pigs from the fair were sampled and tested positive for H3N2 virus on initial testing at a National Animal Health Laboratory Network laboratory. There were reports of some illness (coughing and off-feed) in a few of the pigs at this fair; however, pigs can shed influenza A virus and show few or no clinical signs of illness.
As you plan for fair season, we’d like to summarize a few simple actions that can help minimize potential transmission of influenza A between pigs, from pigs to people, or people to pigs.  Request that your swine exhibitors be particularly vigilant in looking for clinical signs in their swine that may indicate illness and remind them to notify the fair veterinarian if they observe any such signs.  Fair veterinarians should be encouraged to follow-up on any reported illness in pigs at the fair.  Also, encourage additional biosecurity and common sense health practices in the swine barns at all fairs.  Guidance to minimize transmission of influenza viruses between pigs and people has been compiled in the joint NASAHO / NASPHV document, “Measures to Minimize Influenza Transmission at Swine Exhibitions, 2013”.  This document can be found on the USAHA website at:
With the assistance of fair participants, fair/exhibition officials, and State and Federal animal health officials, we can work to minimize these influenza transmission events. Additional sources of information on influenza in both people and pigs, good biosecurity practices for swine shows, and updated information on influenza virus transmission between people and pigs can be found at the following websites:
Finally, please remind the public that Influenza A is not a pork food safety issue. People do not contract flu from eating or handling pork and pork products.
If you have further questions, please contact Dave Pyburn or John Korslund with USDA APHIS VS.