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Keep clear head in latest pigs/flu story

August 22, 2012
The Journal

Three years ago concerns about the H1N1 flu virus swept the country. The fact that the virus was originally referred to as a "swine flu" variety wreaked havoc in the pork industry. People erroneously thought that the virus could be contracted from eating pork, and pork sales plummeted.

Now another flu virus is out, the H3N2v virus, which has reportedly been spread from pigs to humans at county and state fairs. There is a low risk of catching the disease, and the flu is a mild one. With the Minnesota State Fair opening this week, health officials are allowing the swine exhibits to remain open, with some warnings about not touching the animals, washing hands after leaving the barns and not eating in the swine barn.

We hope people get the message that the virus is spread by contact with living, breathing pigs, and not by contact with a pork chop on a stick. We don't need the kind of inflated hysteria that made the rounds three years ago.



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