This weekend, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that pigs at the Fowlerville Family Fair had tested positive for swine flu. The diagnosis was made on late Friday after the pigs began showing symptoms of the illness on Thursday, July 27. No humans have been reported as ill due to exposure to these pigs, which were isolated after the test results came back.
Officials with the Fowlerville Fair Board, Michigan State University Extension, and Livingston County Health Department have started contacting individuals and exhibitors that attended the fair and may have been in close contact with the infected animals. Anyone who had contact with these pigs and who start to develop flu-like symptoms is urged to get in contact with the local health department.
Swine flu primarily impacts pigs but can be transmitted to humans who happen to come in contact with air containing the virus, something that can happen in situations as simple as being near a sick pig when it sneezes. It takes up to 10 days for flu-like symptoms to appear in exposed humans, including nausea, coughing, fever, and body aches.
Though many people will recover from the swine flu, there is no vaccination against it — and, as with the seasonal flu, individuals with certain conditions, the elderly, and anyone who has a weak immune system is at risk of developing more serious outcomes. Anyone who suspects they have contracted swine flu should seek early treatment to receive antiviral medication as soon as possible.
Of course, anyone who is sick or suspects they are sick should take steps to prevent spreading the illness to other people. These include shielding one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, frequently washing hands, avoiding touching one’s face and then touching other items, and staying home from work or school.