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The Danger Lurking at County Fairs

This week my husband and I took our 4-year old son and 1-year old daughter to the county fair.   It is something we always look forward to.   My son loves animals.  So getting a chance to see prized cows, goats, sheep and other animals up close always gives him a thrill.

My mantra while there is “Always, always wash hands.”  Good thing too.

This year there has been an increase in the number of cases of flu passing from swine to people.  The flu virus strain is called H3N2v.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, most of the infected people were exposed to swine at fairs.

The virus can also pass from person-to-person.

The symptoms are similar to the seasonal flu.  Signs may include body aches, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough and runny nose.

The CDC recommends the following:

 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
  • Never eat, drink or put things in your mouth in animal areas.
  • Children younger than 5 years, people 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions) are at high risk from serious complications if they get influenza. These people should consider avoiding exposure to pigs and swine barns this summer, especially if sick pigs have been identified.
  • If you have animals – including swine – watch them for signs of illness and call a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick.
  • Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill, when possible, and
  • Avoid contact with pigs if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

 

For more information:

Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits

Protect Yourself Against H3N2v

 

The figure is a poster to be exhibited at animal petting zoos that instructs visitors on when and how to wash hands after coming in contact with animals.

 

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Category: Health and Safety

Comments (1)

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  1. Thanks for the timely info. We’re going to the Douglas County Fair this weekend.

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