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Pig illness prompts action at IN State Fair

The State Fair is taking extra precautions after concerns about illness among pigs cropped up at several fairs across the state. 

The Monroe County Fair shut down its swine barn Tuesday after concerns about a potential flu outbreak among the animals and some people.

State Board of Animal Health spokesperson Denise Derrer says it’s not just Monroe County that’s prompted action at the State Fair.

“We’ve actually been hearing that there are more pigs coming down with illness following fairs and then they get home, they’re coming home sick.”

State Veterinarian Bret Marsh says all pigs coming onto the state Fairgrounds this year will have their temperature taken to establish a baseline; any swine with temperatures 105 degrees or higher will be turned away.  And while some people around the state have also shown symptoms of illness, Marsh says it doesn’t appear to be affecting visitors to any fairs.

“Human cases with this particular virus have been in people that have had direct contact with pigs.  So it’s exhibitors or families that are exhibiting pigs at the fairs.”

Marsh says pigs will be regularly monitored throughout the State Fair to ensure the health and safety of the animals and their handlers.

The Indiana State Fair begins Friday, August 3, and runs through August 19.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.