M E M O R A N D U M
TO: County & Independent Fair Boards and Veterinarians
FROM: Dr. Tony Forshey, DVM
RE: Talking Points re: H3N2v Influenza
DATE: August 15, 2016
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently confirmed the first human cases of H3N2v influenza of the year where individuals have reported contact with swine at a county fair in Ohio. Two cases from Michigan were also confirmed.
As a reminder, influenza viruses such as H3N2 and its variants are not unusual in swine and can be directly transmitted between swine and humans in the same way that viruses are often transmitted between people. When humans are in close proximity to infected swine under certain conditions, such as in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs, movement of these viruses can occur back and forth between humans and animals. Furthermore, heat stressed swine that are already carriers are more likely to transmit the influenza virus to other animals or to humans and may not show any symptoms of illness.
Sanitary precautions taken by exhibitors, however, coupled with increased monitoring by attending veterinarians can help ensure the continued success of our fair season.
For this reason, I am encouraging each upcoming fair to post the attached information in their swine exhibit spaces and to actively remind swine exhibitors to wash their hands thoroughly and often, particularly after handling animals and always before eating meals or touching their mouths. Exhibitors and visitors should also refrain from bring food and drinks into the barns. I would also remind exhibitors to monitor their animals closely and to immediately report any signs of illness to the attending veterinarian.
As always, if you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health at (614) 728-6220.