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Headed to the fair? Wash your hands after the pig barn

With fair season in full swing, an increase in swine flu cases – including 10 new cases linked to an Ohio fair – has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nervous. The agency is warning Americans to be especially careful around state and county fairs this summer.
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If you are planning a trip to a county or state fair, the CDC wants you to wash your hands when you come out of the pig barn.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that with the fair season in full swing, visitors should avoid taking food and drinks into barns and to wash up after they're near animals, the Associated Press reports. Pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are especially at risk for developing the flu strain, the CDC says.

With 16 new human cases in the last three weeks – 12 in the last week alone – an outbreak of a variant strain of swine flu is giving CDC officials the jitters, WebMD says. What worries officials is that the new flu, officially called variant type A H3N2 or H3N2v, carries the M gene from the human H1N1 pandemic flu bug. This gene makes it easier for flu bugs to infect humans and spread among them.

The CDC says 10 cases of swine flu occurred after people went to a fair in Ohio.

Only 29 human cases of a new strain of "swine" flu have been identified in two years, but the CDC is making sure it's prepared should the H3N2 strain become more widespread, Philly.com reports.

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More cases of swine flu linked to fair's pig barn

Two more cases of presumptive swine flu have been linked to the Minnesota State Fair. The Minnesota Department of Health says this is the first human infection of the H3n2v strain linked to the fair. The other cases involving the same strain were linked to a live animal market in Dakota County.

Pigs will be allowed at State Fair despite swine flu concerns

The health department reported two Twin Cities area children were the first Minnesotans confirmed to have contracted a new strain of the swine flu, just a few days before the Minnesota State Fair. But fair officials say the swine barn is safe and it will be open as usual this year.

CDC confirms swine flu case linked to Minnesota State Fair

The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed that one case of swine flu has been linked to the Minnesota State Fair and two possible additional cases are pending. Minnesota Public Radio reports that in the three cases, people were either exhibiting hogs or were in the swine barn at the state fair before falling ill. The strain is different that the one that has caused 289 illnesses and one death nationwide so far this year.

Swine flu infections reported at Wisconsin fair

Wisconsin health officials report two cases of people infected with a new strain of swine flu. Both people are connected to the Wisconsin State Fair — a worker and a swine exhibitor, the Associated Press is reporting. This news comes on the heels of a report from a University of Minnesota scientist who found swine flu in a significant number of pigs at the Minnesota State Fair in 2009.

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