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Published October 30, 2009, 07:22 AM

USDA: 6 pigs tested positive for H1N1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Final tests confirm that six pigs from the Minnesota State Fair contracted swine flu, three more than initial research had indicated.

By: HENRY C. JACKSON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Final tests confirm that six pigs from the Minnesota State Fair contracted swine flu, three more than initial research had indicated.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said Thursday follow-up tests confirmed the presence of the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as swine flu, in six samples taken as a part of a university research project at the Minnesota State Fair between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1.

USDA said it was still waiting on final tests for six more samples.

The tests confirm the first cases of pigs contracting swine flu in the United States — something agriculture officials had expected. Herd infections had already been reported in Canada, Australia, Argentina, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Norway.

U.S. officials have also cautioned that the pigs that tested positive at the Minnesota State Fair are so-called "show pigs" that are bred and confined differently than other pigs.

Authorities have said they do not plan to take any special measures despite confirmation of H1N1. Farmers have been advised to watch their herds for flu symptoms, and a swine flu vaccination for pigs is being developed.

Minnesota is the country's No. 3 pork-producing state behind Iowa and North Carolina. As of Sept. 1, Minnesota pork producers had 7.3 million hogs and pigs, according to USDA figures.

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