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Fair Officials on Guard for Pig Virus Outbreak

Officials will take precautions to make sure pigs involved in contests at the Orange County Fair in July are free of a common swine virus.

Due to an outbreak of pseudo-rabies statewide, all pigs must be tested for the virus, which is not communicable to humans.

The disease causes immediate illness and death in piglets and can sometimes kill older pigs, said Erin Hunt, a spokeswoman at the fairgrounds.

Hunt said psuedorabies is not similar to rabies found in dogs and other mammals. The disease is in the herpes family of viruses and typically found only in swine. Pigs transmit it through normal close contact in pens.

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No cases have been reported in Orange County, but the fair features a breeding swine show, petting zoos and pig races, so officials are taking precautions.

Many of the animals featured at the fair will be returned to their farms or herds after the July 10-28 event, making disease prevention crucial.

“A pig that moves from place to place can carry the disease to each location,” said Jim Bailey, the fair’s livestock manager. “We see these measures as precautionary, and important to help the livestock industry as a whole.”


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