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.
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The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday confirmed the state's first case of swine flu of the year, MPR reports. Illnesses in two Twin Cities children from one family were reported to the agency late last week, MPR says. A younger child tested positive for swine flu. An older child did not test positive for the illness, although the agency considers it to be a likely case. Both children are recovering.

The cases prompted questions about whether it's safe to visit the swine barn at the Minnesota State Fair.

Disease expert Michael Osterholm said the State Fair pig barn should be closed to the public this year, the Star Tribune and MPR report.

But the barn is safe, fair officials say, WCCO reports.

In the end on Tuesday, officials said pigs would be allowed, the Star Tribune reports.

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