John Poulson, swine superintendent for the Henry County Fair Board, said Wednesday, Aug. 15, the swine barns at the Henry County Fair were placed in isolation, after pigs became ill.
Poulson said samples were taken from some of the sick pigs and sent to the Ohio Department of Agriculture laboratory at Reynoldsburg to determine the exact illness.
He said Monday night, Aug 13, some pigs began exhibiting symptoms consistent with influenza– coughing and refusing to eat or drink. Between Monday and Tuesday morning, temperatures of 10 pigs were taken; five were running a fever.
About Tuesday noon, Poulson said he ordered the animals isolated from the public. The showmen, or 4-H youngsters who own the animals, were permitted in the barns to care for their animals. They were decontaminated as they left the barns.
“Hands and boots,” Poulson said.
The 4-H youth were educated about the situation, in an attempt to control rumors. He said all were told about precautions such as not eating or drinking in the barns, not touching hands to eyes, nose, or mouth, etc.
“Common sense precautions,” Poulson said.
On Wednesday morning, temperatures were taken of every pig at the fairgrounds; about 40% were found to be running fevers.
At that time, healthy pigs were sent to market.
Some pigs that were not going to market were being allowed to go home.
Pigs still at the barns will be tested on Thursday, Aug. 16. Those with normal temperatures will be sent to market.
For the fair’s annual auction, the 4-H showmen will appear in the auction ring, rather than their animals.
Poulson said there is no danger of transmission of the flu to other animals, and there is no danger to any of the meat from the pigs.
Illnesses in pigs became a concern after cases of influenza caused by the H3N2v virus was discovered in humans. The source of the virus was traced back to pigs infected with the virus.
Early this week, there were 47 confirmed cases in Ohio alone.–Posted 8.1, 3:10 pm