WASHINGTON (AP) — Health officials in the Washington region are urging people at high risk for the flu to avoid exposure to pigs at county fairs.

The Washington Post reports that the warnings come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12 new cases of swine flu in Hawaii, Ohio and Indiana. All the cases were linked to people who attended agricultural fairs or exhibited pigs at the events.

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No cases have been reported in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia, but August is the traditional time for the region’s county fairs.

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People with increased risk of contracting the flu include children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weak immune systems.

In 2009, strains of swine flu led to thousands of deaths in the United States.

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