Photo: Greg Wagoner (Flickr)
Good times await the thousands of people who will visit 4-H fairs this month in more than 80 Indiana counties, but so does the risk of getting sick.
Tom Duszynski with the Indiana Department of Health says enjoy the fair, but use caution when around animals.
“Just use common sense any time you are visiting animal exhibits, especially at county fairs,” he says. “We are definitely encouraging folks to go to county fairs. It’s a great way to learn about agriculture in Indiana, which is one of our main industries.”
Pigs especially can be infected with influenza strains that occur in different species.
Influenza A, or swine flu, made its way around Indiana last year with 138 cases in 24 counties.
Duszynski says swine flu can resemble other flu strains.
“It looks and acts just like flu. Fever, cough, sore throat, chills, headache, muscle aches,” Duszynski says.
Diarrhea and nausea can also occur in children.
One of the easiest and most important precautions is to wash hands often with soap and avoid face-to-face contact with animals.