Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has declared that any animals must obtain a health certificate before entering the Pennsylvania fairs as a new strain of the swine flu, the H3N2, has been found making its way through various fairs across the country.
More than 150 documented cases of the H3N2 strain have already been reported, and the strain has already hit Ohio and Indiana, though no cases of the strain has so far been reported in Pennsylvania.
Samantha Krepps, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, said pigs are being checked on a daily basis for fevers, and if any are found sick, they are excluded from the fair.
The H3N2 strain features a dissimilar genetic makeup than that of the H1N1 virus.
Charlotte Berringer, the director of community health at the Erie County Health Department, said that the primary transition of the new strain is from pigs to humans. She said there have only isolated cases of the new virus spreading from human to human.
Giving a piece of advice to fairgoers, Berringer said, "Consider wearing a mask if you're around a sick pig.”
Children are particularly vulnerable to the H3N2 virus because they have not developed efficient antibodies to fight the strain. The list of symptoms of the virus includes coughing and fever.
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