Farmers Looking Out For New Form Of Swine Flu
The Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo is underway and farmers are taking extra precautions with their pigs.
Farmer Ray Harris told FFA students to be sure to wash their hands after showing pigs.
Harris is also examining the pigs -- ensuring they are healthy enough to be around the public.
"As they're brought to the fair, they're inspected by a veterinarian. They're looked over, they have a health record, it shows all the innoculations," said Harris.
Farmers and vets are especially on the lookout for a new strain of Swine Flu, also known as H3N2V -- much different than the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009.
It is not a serious illness and passes from pig to person, but does not transmit well person to person.
However, health officials are advising fairgoers to wash their hands after touching livestock --and in Grant County, the health department has gone so far as to issue a warning.
Although Swine Flu may be a concern in Grant County, people at the Yakima Valley Fair say it is virtually of no concern to them.
"No, we haven't had any concerns at all. And I work at a hospital, I haven't seen it, we don't have any issues with it, I don't hear people talking about it," said Heidi Devriend.
"I'm sure these guys got a good track record, and they take high priority on cleanliness and hygiene, and we do too," said Jim Williams.
Veterinarians say Swine Flu is so uncommon in this area, they look for more common viruses.
"The main things we are watching for are very common things like ringworm and mange. Just animals that are running typical viral or bacterial infections or abscesses," said Dr. Fred Muller.
As for Ray Harris, he says people should not fear Swine Flu - just make sure to wash your hands around pigs at the fair.
Veterinarians say H3N2V Swine Flu is tranmitted by direct contact with pigs, not by eating pork.