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Officials urge fair-goers to take steps to avoid swine flu

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Health officials are urging people to take precautions to avoid swine flu at county and local fairs across Michigan.

Swine influenza is a respiratory disease in pigs that's caused by type A influenza viruses. Swine flu viruses don't usually infect humans, but human infections have been reported. Precautions to help avoid swine flu include refraining from eating or drinking in livestock barns or show rings.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says 17 people last year 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. Infections are mostly among children.

Symptoms in people are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever, sore throat and respiratory difficulty.

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