Last week at the Dubuque County Fair, livestock exhibits were closed off from the public when a pig showed symptoms of being sick. Lab samples were sent off to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Ames and by the end of the day, most of the barns at the fair were reopened.

So, what happened to the pig?

The Dubuque County Extension office sent out a press release about the incident saying that the pig tested positive for Seneca Valley virus. Sandi Helgerson, the Dubuque County Director for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach says this was good news because it eliminated the worry that it was a foreign disease, such as Foot and Mouth disease.

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Before the fair even started, Helgerson says Iowa State University had them on the lookout for Seneca Valley virus.

They just said there have been some cases discovered, this is what it looks like, and if it happens you need to isolate the animal immediately; which is what we did.

To help make sure the exhibitors were all on the same page, Helgerson and Kevin Kotz, Dubuque County Fairgrounds General Manager worked together to get the same information out.

We called an all-exhibitor meeting for livestock, and that was very helpful to avoid any misinformation, which you want to keep down to a minimum, and we were unified with what we were testing for.

Overall, Helgerson says she is proud of the 4-H exhibitors and the families at the fair. She adds people were swift in offering help and adapted to the changes as more information became available.

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