State health officials suspect three Minnesota State Fair visitors have fallen sick with a variation of swine flu that is common in pigs but has never been seen before in people.
One of the cases has been confirmed by the CDC and results are pending in the other two. The three people are a teenage girl and an elementary school-age boy who both have recovered, and a woman in her late 70s who spent four days in the hospital. The young boy and older woman had underlying health conditions.
The swine flu strain is a variation called H1N2. State deputy epidemiologist Richard Danilla said the Minnesota Department of Health had posted warnings around the swine barn in response to another swine flu strain — the H3N2 variation that's linked to illnesses in 300 people nationwide.
"The measures we were taking to protect against H3N2 would've protected them against H1N2 as well," Danilla said. "We have a sign up outside the swine barn and it says, 'if you have any of these high risk conditions to stay out of the barn.' They really shouldn't have been in the barn, yet they were, all day."
The three people were either exhibiting pigs or spending time in the swine barn before they became sick.