Posted: Aug 13, 2012 10:36 PM by Kristy Davis
Updated: Aug 13, 2012 10:36 PM
BATON ROUGE- Flu season is almost here and there's a new concern: a strain of flu found in pigs. Doctors call it H3N2v flu.
Health leaders in Louisiana are especially worried about this virus because the livestock showing season is about to start, the primary place this strain has shown up.
153 people, most in the Midwest, have fallen ill with the virus. Currently, it passes only between humans and pigs.
Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says the key to keeping Louisiana livestock shows flu-free is identifying sick pigs quickly.
"Generally, the pigs that are sick will have a temperature of over 105 degrees. So we will be taking the pigs' temperatures, and any pigs showing a fever or sign of the flu will be removed," said Strain.
While there is no vaccine for this particular strain, if it mutates into a person-to-person strain, a vaccine will need to be developed.
Medical professionals recommend not petting pigs at livestock shows and washing hands often.