State: Be wary of swine flu at S.C. state fair

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina health officials are warning visitors to the upcoming state fair to be vigilant about a new strain of swine flu.

      The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Tuesday it is working with Clemson University to prevent the spread of the new flu strain known as H3N2v.

      Interim State Epidemiologist Linda Bell says the virus circulates in pigs and has infected people in several states but not South Carolina. It can be directly transmitted between people and swine, but officials say people cannot get sick by eating properly handled and prepared pork products.

      To prevent the spread of the illness, Bell recommends frequent hand-washing and never taking food or drink into animal areas at the fair.

      The South Carolina State Fair funs Oct. 10-21 in Columbia.