With cases of swine flu popping up in adjoining states to the north, officials are taking precautions to prevent the disease from spreading at the Kentucky State Fair's Swine Pavilion. The fair starts Thursday. The state veterinarian staff will be inspecting all swine — between 650 and 675 pigs — and looking for signs of flu, which includes coughing, sneezing and labored breathing. Animals showing symptoms will be evaluated and tested for the disease. Exhibitors coming from out of state must show a certificate of veterinary inspection with 72 hours of arrival, The Courier-Journal reports. Fairgoers are encouraged to wash their hands frequently.
"We are certainly prepared for the slightest sign of any outbreak, and of course, the public will be notified immediately should anything occur," said Harold Workman, president of the Kentucky State Fair Board.
This year has seen 158 reported cases of swine flu, 130 of which were in 19 counties in Indiana. There have been 30 cases in Ohio and one each in Indiana and Hawaii. The disease is spread by pigs coughing or sneezing in the proximity of humans. Symptoms in humans, which can last from three to eight days, include coughing, fever, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, nausea and diarrhea. (Read more)