CDC warns of new swine flu strain passed at county fairs

Cases of swine flu last week increased nationwide by over 400% according to the CDC, because of county fair season kicking in.

The CDC is warning of a new strain of swine flu, and it's numbers are increasing at alarming rates. The reason, they say, is county fairs.

Incidents of the H3-N2 virus rose to 158 nationwide last week from just 29 the previous week. The majority of the cases occurred in Indiana and Ohio. The Centers for Disease control says the new strain may travel more easily from swine to humans, and with county fair season in full swing, people should be on guard.

Most of the recent patients, health experts say, have been children who have come into contact with the swine at the fairs.

There are swine on the premises at this week's Genesee County fair but fair Executive Director Chris Miller says they are not in the petting area, so they mainly come in contact with only their owners. Miller says they have not had any reported cases of illness from people who have come in contact with the swine. Miller tells NBC25 they are taking extra precautions by installing hand sanitizing stations and various wash stations are available throughout the fair grounds.

Experts say regular hand washing and sanitizing before coming into contact with animals is the best way to ward off the virus.