Athens Co. Health Department, Fair Officials Keeping Close Eye On Pigs

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Those overseeing the Athens County Fair are on heightened alert after exposure to pigs at other fairs in Ohio have resulted in more than a dozen human cases of influenza A variant H3N2.

That's according to Charles Hammer, the administrator for the Athens City-County Health Department.

Hammer says there have been no cases of that type of influenza in pigs or humans at the Athens County fair.

Should folks have any hesitations about attending?

"No, absolutely not," Hammer said. "There's no danger to the general public. Again, everybody's cautioned to observe just very basic sanitation."

Hammer recommends people make use of hand-washing stations in the livestock barns.

He says the human cases of the flu have affected the animal handlers, not the people attending the fair.

"The people who are taking care of the pigs or are with the pigs on a real close basis, taking care of them and making sure they're ready to be shown, those are the only people who've come down with this influenza."

Hammer says organizers and the health department are taking adequate precautions to make sure the fair stays safe.