Ohio health officials remind fair-goers of hygiene after pig tests positive for swine flu


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Fair season is here in Ohio and on the heels of news of swine flu detected at the Clinton County fair, the Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health want to remind you to be careful while visiting livestock exhibits.

The leaders of the departments say it's important to remember proper hygiene when visiting livestock. "Visitors should remember some illnesses can be directly transmitted between animals and humans," said ODH Director Lance Himes. Health officials say you can take simple steps to keep yourself safe, like washing your hands before and after petting or touching any animal. You should also never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in the animal areas. Parents should also leave strollers outside the animal exhibits. Anyone who has a weakened immune system or is pregnant or elderly should think about avoiding the animal exhibits, officials say.

ODA says it's working alongside fair boards to get more hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations on the grounds, "Fairs are the highlight of the summer in many communities for many families across Ohio and we want to ensure they stay that way,"
said ODA Director David T. Daniels. While nearly 300 Clinton County fair pigs will be slaughtered after one was found to test positive for swine flu, there are no reported human cases.

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