Swine flu shuts down hog barn at Clinton County Fair


By Tom Barr - tbarr@aimmediamidwest.com



WILMINGTON — The hog barn at the Clinton County Fair was shut down by state officials Thursday due to an outbreak of the swine flu.

The Junior Fair Market Hog Show, one of the biggest of the fair, would continue Thursday but would now be a “terminal show” — all hogs were being loaded into trailers and would be sent to slaughter, according to Clinton County Agricultural Society Board Member Greta Gray.

“Only the exhibitors and their parents will be allowed to see the remainder of the show,” she said.

Also, as a precaution, there was no movement allowed between the hog barn and the poultry barn, as the swine flu is transmittable to poultry, Gray said.

An Ohio Department of Agriculture veterinarian, Dr. Robert Carey, DVM, said mid-afternoon Thursday there was one confirmed case of swine flu at the hog barn on the fairgrounds.

Carey said he planned to do more testing on hogs there Thursday afternoon, and said staff from The Ohio State University were coming down Thursday “to swab a bunch of them.”

The reason the part of the poultry barn where poultry are kept was also roped off Thursday to fair-goers, said Carey, is because officials wanted to exercise caution since the virus can get into poultry, mutate and become a more serious problem.

Once word got out on Facebook about the hog barn shutdown, women at the Senior Fair Office fielded phone calls about the matter.

Fair-goer Karen Gibson said, “It’s sad for the kids.”

Since the swine flu can be transmitted to humans, Gray said that people exposed to the hog barn should take the same precautions that they would for any flu — they should wash their hands and practice good hygiene to lessen the chance they could contract the flu.

Gray said the gates remained open at the fair. Rides on the midway that were not affected by Thursday’s rain would continue to operate. However, the Truck Pull 4WD scheduled for Thursday evening was canceled.

By Tom Barr

tbarr@aimmediamidwest.com