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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Health officials say that the new strain of swine flu that’s already sickened more at least 200 people in eight states this summer is now in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Health has reported two cases of H3N2v. The cases were reported in a preschool-age child and an older sibling from the Twin Cities.
The health department said both developed symptoms of the flu two days after the family visited a live animal market in Dakota County earlier this month.
Both of them are currently recovering. Neither required hospitalization, the health department reported.
Earlier this month, WCCO-TV reported that the new strain could impact how Minnesotans handle pigs at the Minnesota State Fair, which starts this Thursday.
Officials at the Minnesota State Fair will be watching the pigs more closely this year. A spokesperson said the animals will be checked when they get to the fairgrounds. There will be signs posted telling fair-goers what to do to avoid getting sick. Vendors will also be given up-to-date information about how to prevent the spread of the swine flu.
In 2009, scientists at the University of Minnesota tested the pigs here, and now those results are in just before the masses come here to the fairgrounds to visit the livestock. The study found about 20 percent of pigs tested had H1N1, the previous strain of swine flu that made headlines.