BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A second county fair in Maryland comes down with the case of the flu.
This time, dozens of pigs at the Great Frederick Fair are under quarantine, as agriculture officials try to contain the virus, and determine if it was transmitted to any humans.
It’s been five years since the swine flu popped up at a county fair here in Maryland, and now two groups of hogs are fighting the virus, and officials are hoping it doesn’t spread.
The swine barns at the Frederick County Fairgrounds might currently look like a crime scene, as this week, the barns are being used as a sick bay for about 50 pigs.
Many of those pigs are fighting off the swine flu, under their owner’s care, and the watch of the Department of Agriculture.
“We’re just kind of waiting it out to see what the results are as far as the remainder of the tests that are pending,” said Karen Crum, Frederick Fair executive assistant.
More than 100 pigs at the Charles County Fair were quarantined last week after some showed flu-like symptoms.
And in Frederick County, 11 animals have tested positive.
“Right now, it’s identified as ‘Influenza A,'” Crum said. “The strain of it is not identified, so we’re just taking the precautionary steps to make sure everyone’s protected.”
Now, the swine in the barn will have to stay quarantined until at least this weekend, but two other county fairs in Maryland have had to forego their swine exhibits altogether.
The secretary of agriculture ordered the St. Mary’s County Fair and Calvert County Fair to immediately shut down their plans for swine exhibitions and any other activities involving swine.
MDA believes the virus is not a threat to fair visitors, but could infect those working with the animals.
“Unless they come into really close contact with the pigs,” said MDA veterinarian Michael Radebaugh. “Like, we had nine of the 4-H kids that were in really close contact with the pigs come down with flu-like conditions.”
The challenge now is keeping the virus away from Maryland’s farms.
The exact strain of this flu hasn’t been figured out. The Department of Agriculture says the lab results should be in Tuesday night or Wednesday.
The swine flu does not impact the quality of any pork products when properly cooked.