Advisory for Events and Programs Involving Swine

Including School Livestock Programs, 4-H Livestock Programs, Farm Fairs and County Fairs

August 13, 2012

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) recommends the following actions be adopted by events and programs where there may be contact between swine and humans.  These recommendations are being emphasized due to the recent confirmation of a variant influenza virus H3N2v in a person who had close contact with domestic swine on Maui. Concerns over similar infections have occurred recently in other states, including Indiana and Ohio.  These recommendations were established to protect both animal and human health.


  • Show management should insure that signage about proper hygienic practices is posted widely and prominently in and around livestock areas and hygienic stations with running water, soap and instructions for use are strategically placed.
  • Show management should report any unanticipated disease trends that occur at the fair in people or swine to HDOA and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).
  • Show management of individual fairs may adopt requirements which are more stringent than those recommended by the department, and all exhibitors are encouraged to check with the organizers of each fair in advance to ensure compliance with all requirements.


  • All swine entering fairs and exhibits should be vaccinated for swine influenza (H3N2 and H1N1 or any newer multivalent influenza vaccine) using the manufacturer’s recommendations and at least 2-4 weeks prior to the event. Although there is no information to suggest that current commercial swine influenza vaccines are effective against H3N2v, vaccination against various infectious agents affecting swine is an important herd health management tool.
  • Any swine found to be abnormal (off of feed, depressed, coughing, sneezing) during the event should have their temperatures taken and should be removed to their premise of origin if temperatures are equal to or above 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
  •  HDOA recommends that animals returning home from fairs be isolated from other members of the herd for 2-4 weeks to help prevent the spread of disease.


  • People at high risk for influenza complications (underlying chronic medical conditions, pregnant, younger than five years, older than 65 years or those with weakened immune systems) should consider avoiding exposure to pigs this season.
  • People involved in activities that may involve swine contact should:
    • Wash their hands frequently with soap and running water before and after contact with animals;
    • Avoid eating, drinking or putting anything in your mouth in animal areas; and
    • Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill.
  • Use hand-wash stations in and around livestock areas according to instructions
  • Avoid contact with pigs if YOU are experiencing flu-like symptoms. It is also important that humans not spread diseases to pigs.
  • If you must come in contact with pigs known or suspected to be infected, or their environment, you should use appropriate protective measures (for example, wear protective clothing, gloves, masks that cover your mouth and nose, and other personal protective equipment), avoid touching your face, and utilize frequent hand washing.
  • People who experience influenza-like symptoms within seven days following direct or close contact with pigs and who seek medical care should inform their health care provider about the exposure.

The HDOA recommends that exhibitors of all animals, including those for commercial exhibit, discuss the health of their animals, including vaccine recommendations, with a veterinarian on a regular basis.

For more information or to report suspected animal health issues, contact HDOA’s Animal Disease Control Branch on Oahu at 808-483-7106 during normal business hours or after hours, call 808-837-8092.

For information relating to human health, contact the DOH Disease Investigation Branch Duty Officer at 808-586-4586.  To view the CDC HEALTH ADVISORY, August 3, 2012, go to:

Please visit the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website for more information and links to other resources: H3N2v Influenza Case