COLUMBUS -- Investigators from the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Butler County Health Department are investigating human illnesses associated with the Butler County Fair.
Preliminary lab results on ten samples indicate similarities to the influenza virus H3N2.
All of the people who got sick had direct contact with swine, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not yet confirmed any of the cases.
Butler County health officials continue to collect information and are working with the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
State officials say fair attendees are safe and visitors should remember to always wash their hands after being in close proximity to livestock and to keep food and drinks out of the animal exhibits.
All fair animals, especially swine, are monitored for illness and signs of flu-like symptoms and are checked by veterinarians every day that they are at the fair.
Health officials say influenza viruses and its variants are not unusual in swine and can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs in the same way that viruses can be transmitted between people.
When people are in close proximity to live infected swine, such as in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs, these viruses can be transmitted between people and animals.
Influenza viruses cannot be transmitted by eating pork.
People should not eat, drink, or put anything in their mouths while in animal areas.
Older people, pregnant women, young people and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
Anyone who has direct and routine contact with swine and have experienced cough or flu-like symptoms should contact their doctor or health department.