Iowa State Fair officials taking health precautions

Officials are taking precautions against swine flu

DES MOINES — Swine flu problems in other states have caught the attention of officials at the Iowa State Fair, which starts its 11-day run on Thursday.

“We’re on alert and we’re looking for it, but I wouldn’t say we’re concerned,” fair manager Gary Slater said. “Obviously, we haven’t seen any in Iowa.”

Slater said the state veterinarian was at the fairgrounds checking preparations before up to 3,500 market and pure-bred swine start arriving Tuesday. Those animals must be accompanied with papers indicating that they have been given clean bills of health by their local vets, he added, and any pig that appears to be sick will be screened and sent home if need be, he added.

Slater said the Iowa fair should be aided by weather forecasts that don’t call for triple-digit heat, which seemed to have contributed to problems in other states.

“Hopefully, everything here will go as normal,” he said.

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