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U of M study raises more concerns about flu at fairs

A University of Minnesota veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Bender, is releasing the results of his study and it comes with a warning for anyone planning to visit the Minnesota State Fair -- which starts one week from Thursday. Scientists found 19 percent of the 57 pigs tested at the Minnesota State Fair in 2009 had the H1N1 flu virus -- compared to none of the 47 samples the year before. Fair officials tell the Star Tribune they've stepped up precautions for both fairgoers and livestock.
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A University of Minnesota veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Bender, is releasing the results of his study and it comes with a warning for anyone planning to visit the Minnesota State Fair -- which starts one week from Thursday. Scientists found 19 percent of the 57 pigs tested at the Minnesota State Fair in 2009 had the H1N1 flu virus -- compared to none of the 47 samples the year before. Fair officials tell the Star Tribune they've stepped up precautions for both fairgoers and livestock.

More than 160 people in about a dozen states have contracted a new type of swine flu, USA Today reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fair visitors should avoid taking food and drinks into barns and to wash up after they’re near animals.

Health officials tell the Star Tribune that so far, no cases of the new swine flu, known as H3N2v, have been found in Minnesota.

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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.

Vets give pigs a clean bill of health as State Fair readies for opening day

A team of veterinarians was on hand to check up on the pigs that were checking in to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds Wednesday. None showed signs of the new swine flu strain that's been known to spread to humans. The livestock arrival was part of a day full of preparation for Thursday's opening.

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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.

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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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Neighborhoods around State Fair deal with spike in nuisance crimes

Homeowners near the Great Minnesota Get-Together are blaming fairgoers for an increase of vandalism and crime. WCCO reports some neighbors are so annoyed by all the extra traffic they actually leave for the entire 12 days of the fair. A senior commander with the St. Paul Police Department says crime is usually at an all-time low during the State Fair because there are so many witnesses around.