Michigan fairgoers urged to take precautions at events with swine exhibits

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Posted at 4:53 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 16:53:45-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the case on Friday, Sept. 9.

We’re told the person in question attended the Berrien County Youth Fair — held Aug. 15–20 — when contact was made with the swine.

MDHHS says event organizers are working alongside them and the Berrien County Health Department.

In the meantime, fairgoers in the state are advised to safeguard themselves and others by doing the following:

  • Anyone at high risk of serious flu complications who is planning to attend a fair should avoid pigs and swine barns.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking in livestock barns or show rings.
  • Do not take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into pig areas.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms, avoid contact with pigs, including being in a swine barn.
  • If sick, stay home from work or school until illness is over.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue away and wash hands.
  • Wash hands with soap and water often. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Swine influenza is a respiratory disease in pigs, which is caused by type A influenza viruses. Although the viruses do not usually infect humans, human infections have been reported. Humans can only get swine influenza from contact with an ill pig. This does not include eating properly prepared pork or handling pork products.

Symptoms of wine influenza in humans include fever, cough, runny nose, and sometimes body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. In rare occasions, it can lead to pneumonia or death. Kids under the age of 5, people 65 years old and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic health issues are at a higher risk of developing complications.

Anyone experiencing symptoms is urged to talk to their primary care physician and inquire about a test to confirm the diagnosis. Anyone with concerns is asked to contact the Berrien County Health Department at 269-926-7121.