FRONT ROYAL, VA- A trip to the county fair is usually fun and safe for the family, but now health officials are warning your local fair could be a breeding ground for the swine flu.
"Pigs can get the flu and people can give it to pigs. Pigs can give it to people," says Dr. Charles Devine of the Virginia Department of Health. "If you are interacting with pigs, you should be careful to wash your hands carefully before and after such interactions," he adds.
Sixteen cases of swine flu have been reported across
"This particular strain of influenza has not been seen recently, so children under the age of ten are probably not immune to it," says Devine. "The cases reported in July and into August by the CDC have mostly affected children," he adds.
Officials with the Warren County Fair do not encourage touching animals and have sanitization stations set up throughout the fairgrounds. "All the animals are checked by a veterinarian," says Jake Grove with the Warren County Fair. "Any animals, and we didn't have any, that are found unfit or unhealthy are taken away from the fairground. That's our first measure to keep unsafe animals away from the fair," Grove adds.
"When you're out at the fair please enjoy it, don't be worried," says Devine. "But, do wash your hands before you interact with animals, and after, and don't carry food or drinks into animal areas," he adds.
The CDC says, anyone who has flu-like symptoms should see a doctor. Any animal that has been in contact with the flu or appears sick should see a veterinarian.