Monday, August 13, 2012

Swine Slobber in my Laundry

Of the many remnants of pigs that make their way into my house via dirty pig farmers, like pig poop, pig pee and pig semen(!), worrying about pig germs hadn't really crossed my mind.

But now there is H3N2, known casually and, perhaps incorrectly, as swine flu. In case you've been living under a rock, or you rely on this blog for all your swine-related information (haven't you been in the dark lately?), the H3N2 flu starts with pigs but can be transmitted to humans. Several state and county fairs in Ohio and Indiana have reported cases in both pigs and at least 120 162 people.

Our pigs and our farmers are all healthy but this is something we are watching.When the kids were at the Ohio State Fair last week, some hogs were sick. Husband spent some time disinfecting our equipment from the State Fair. We still have our county fair coming up on Labor Day weekend.

Fortunately, the flu has not proven to be too dangerous for humans (Symptoms of infection with the H3N2v virus are similar to those with other flu viruses: fever, cough, runny nose, and sore throat.) and is easily prevented. According to Mark Case, the director of Environmental Health for Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, many of the recommended steps have been in place for several years and are pretty simple; washing hands before and after visiting livestock areas; not eating or drinking in livestock areas; avoiding close contact with animals that appear to be ill; and avoiding contact with animals if you are ill. Some of the great information shared during a live chat sponsored by the Dayton Daily News last week.

Also very important to note is that pork is still safe for eating. Dr. Mary DiOrio, Ohio Department of Health said during the Dayton Daily News live chat, It has not been shown that influenza can be transmitted from eating pork products. It is safe to eat bacon, pork roast, and the like.

As for us, we'll be exercising caution and common sense during our upcoming visits to county and state fairs.

So unless you have swine slobber in your laundry (like I do!), your family is safe from H3N2. Please don't let misinformation prevent you from eating pork or visiting a fair.

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