The throngs of people who attend the Eastern States Exposition this fall won't be allowed to get too close to the pigs to prevent the possible spread of swine flu — to the hogs.

Donna Woolam, director of agriculture and education at the fair known as the Big E, tells The Republican of Springfield there has never been a case of swine flu in domestic hogs in the United States. But she says people can expose the animals to it, which could have widespread repercussions for the pork industry.

Visitors will be able to see the pigs, but from a safe distance.

Woolam says the swine show at the fair draws about 50 animals.

The Big E, first held in 1917, is expected to draw as many as 1 million visitors to its West Springfield grounds from Sept. 18 to Oct. 4.

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