County fair-goers warned after reports of swine flu in Ohio

As Ohio’s fair season is underway across the state, the Ohio departments of Agriculture and Health are reminding fair-goers to practice good hygiene when visiting livestock exhibits.

There have been cases of swine flu reported in the state, which is considered highly contagious.

MORE: Ohio county fair hogs to be slaughtered due to swine flu

“Ohio’s fairs are great places to enjoy some summer fun, but visitors should remember some illnesses can be directly transmitted between animals and humans,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes. “Simple steps like good hand-washing can help stop the spread of any illness and make sure your fair visit is a safe one.”

Some tips on how to stay healthy include:

  • Visitors should always wash their hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal.
  • Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in animal areas.
  • Parents and caregivers are encouraged to leave strollers outside the animal exhibits and carry small children.
  • Older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems should consider avoiding animal areas.

The agriculture department is working with fair boards to increase access to hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations.

Agriculture and health department officials say frequent hand-washing can lower a person’s risk of getting sick from influenza, salmonella, e. Coli and other illnesses.

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>>GUIDE: Your guide to county fairs in 2017

Butler County Fair: July 23-29

Clark County Fair: July 21-28

Montgomery County Fair: July 10-15

Warren County Fair: July 17-22

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