Health officials offer tips for visiting animals at fairs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Health officials are warning families about the potential dangers of interacting with pigs at fairs while offering some tips to keep your kids safe.

Parents are advised to keep kids from eating or drinking in livestock barns and not to take toys, pacifiers or strollers inside either.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease in pigs caused by "type-a influenza" viruses that regularly circulate among swine.

The symptoms are similar to the flu in humans like fever, sore throat, cough and a runny nose.

Just last year, 17 people from six states, including three from Michigan, were sickened by variant influenza viruses after having direct or indirect contact with swine at fairs and exhibits.

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