FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - Three people have tested positive for a variant strain of the swine flu after exhibiting or spending time in the swine barn at the Minnesota State Fair.
The strain is a different one than H3N2, which has been in the news recently and was linked to cases across the country and here in Minnesota.
The three who got sick from the Minnesota State Fair include a child, a teenager and a woman in her late 70s. All are recovering, health officials say.
Meanhwhile, Wisconsin health officials say 14 people have been infected with the new strain of swine flu. It's believed they caught it from pigs at the state or county fairs, but there are no linked cases of H3N2 to the Minnesota State Fair.
While there have been three cases of H3N2 in Minnesota, they've been linked to an animal market in Dakota County.
Despite concerns, fair officials say the number of people visiting the swine barn is only down slightly.
Two pigs in the swine barn have been diagnosed with flu during the fair, but it's a different kind of flu than the one that is being transmitted to humans, officials say.
When it comes to monitoring pigs in the swine barn, State Fair Veterinarian Tom Hagerty said, "We're through there about six times a day and we're looking for any sign of flu which, as in people, its cough, runny nose, running a temp, just feeling lethargic. That's what we're looking for."
Hagerty said that sick pigs are removed and isolated immediately.
The Minnesota Department of Health says in humans, the H3N2 swine flu can incubate two to four days before symptoms appear, so if there are any pigs that have it, it's still possible human cases could surface once the fair is over.
The health department recommends not bringing any food or drink into the swine barn and washing your hands after any contact.
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