Since 2011, influenza A viruses circulating in US swine exhibited at county fairs are associated with over 460 zoonotic infections, presenting an ongoing pandemic risk. Swine ‘jackpot shows’ that occur before county fairs each summer intermix large numbers of exhibition swine from diverse geographic locations. We investigated the role of jackpot shows in influenza zoonoses.
We collected snout wipe or nasal swab samples from 17,009 pigs attending 350 national, state, and local swine exhibitions across eight states during 2016-2018.
Influenza was detected in 13.9% of swine sampled at jackpot shows, and 76.3% of jackpot shows had at least one pig test positive. Jackpot shows had 4.3-fold higher odds of detecting at least one influenza-positive pig compared to county fairs. When influenza was detected at a county fair, almost half of pigs tested positive, clarifying why zoonotic infections occur primarily at county fairs.
The earlier timing of jackpot shows and long-distance travel for repeated showing of individual pigs provide a pathway for the introduction of influenza into county fairs. Mitigation strategies aimed at curtailing influenza at jackpot shows are likely to have downstream effects on disease transmission at county fairs and zoonoses.

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