Reducing zoonotic influenza A virus (IAV) risk in the United States necessitates mitigation of IAV in exhibition swine. We evaluated the effectiveness of shortening swine exhibitions to <72 hours to reduce IAV risk. We longitudinally sampled every pig daily for the full duration of 16 county fairs during 2014-2015 (39,768 nasal wipes from 6,768 pigs). In addition, we estimated IAV prevalence at 195 fairs during 2018-2019 to test the hypothesis that <72-hour swine exhibitions would have lower IAV prevalence. In both studies, we found that shortening duration drastically reduces IAV prevalence in exhibition swine at county fairs. Reduction of viral load in the barn within a county fair is critical to reduce the risk for interspecies IAV transmission and pandemic potential. Therefore, we encourage fair organizers to shorten swine shows to protect the health of both animals and humans.
Keywords: United States; exhibitions; influenza; influenza A virus; respiratory infections; swine; vaccine-preventable diseases; viral zoonoses; viruses; zoonoses.