Ohio state officials confirmed today that at least two pigs tested positive for swine flu and ordered the slaughter of almost 300 hogs at a country fair in Clinton County.

At the time no human cases have been detected, said state health officials. The hogs tested positive for H3N2 swine flu, also known as swine influenza.

Ohio state officials confirmed today that at least two pigs tested positive for swine flu. Image credit: Seth Perlman /AP/ NPR
Ohio state officials confirmed today that at least two pigs tested positive for swine flu. Image credit: Seth Perlman /AP/ NPR

The Clinton County Fair Board said it’s working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Clinton County Agricultural Society, and several local and state health officials to stop the spread of the disease among the county’s pig population.

Nearly 300 pigs will be slaughtered after one tested positive for swine influenza

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swine influenza is usually spread among pigs through close contact and from contaminated objects infected by sick pigs. Some of the symptoms of the disease include fever, depression, coughing –or rather barking-, fluid discharges from the nose or eyes, sneezing, and loss of appetite.

“July 12, a pig at the Clinton County fair tested positive for H3N2, a zoonotic disease that can be transferred between animals and humans,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture spokesman Mark Bruce, according to Outbreak News Today. “July 13th, additional animals in the barn showed clinical signs of illness and out of an abundance of caution to the general public and Ohio’s livestock population, ODA placed a quarantine on the hog barn.”

The statement also said that only exhibitors and their parents were allowed into the building. While the declaration only talked about one pig testing positive for the disease, ABC News reported that two cases had been identified.

The CDC says that swine influenza doesn’t usually infect humans, although it can happen. Most of these human infections are associated with prolonged exposure to pigs at agricultural fairs.

Image credit: Reuters / IB Times
Image credit: Reuters / IB Times

People in contact with pigs who experience flu-like symptoms must consult with doctor

Ohio health officials also noted they would disinfect the barn to make sure the swine flu doesn’t spread. Despite that, the almost 300 pigs kept at the County fair will be slaughtered.

“It’s been a hard day, got a lot of kids that have (a) gilt or barrow or whatever that we were going to retain and now they’ve got to be slaughtered,” pig breeder Joey Johnson told WLWT. “It’s very unfortunate.”

Dr. Terry Holten, Clinton County Health District Medical Director, said that if someone was in contact with the hogs and experiences signs and symptoms of flu-like illness, they should consult their medical provider.

“Especially if you are high risk, which includes children under 5 years, those with long term health conditions, like asthma and other lung diseases, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, as well as pregnant women and people 65 years and older” added Holten, according to Outbreak News Today.

In Dayton, Ohio, health officials are also taking measures to prevent pigs from contracting the disease. Montgomery County Agriculture Society president John Yancik told WDTN they have signage throughout the barns, and that they also have hand sanitizers there, as an effort to meet ODA’s requirements. He added that their animals had been examined by a vet, who found no sick animals, including pigs, cattle, and sheep.

The rest of the Clinton County fair remains open to the public.

Source: Outbreak News Today