Fair officials urge frequent hand washing after swine flu cases nationwide
WEST ALLIS — Wisconsin State Fair officials are urging fair goers to wash their hands often, following the CDC’s announcement of swine flu that has sickened nearly 30 people across the country following state fairs in three states. No one has been sickened from Wisconsin State Fair pigs at this time.
The CDC says there have been 10 cases in Ohio, 1 case in Indiana and 1 case in Hawaii. 17 other cases have been detected since July 2011. CDC officials say among the 29 cases, 19 cases were associated with fairs where swine were present.
All of the recently reported cases occurred in people who had direct or indirect contact with swine prior to their illness.
The 10 cases in Ohio were associated with attendance at the state fair, where reportedly ill swine were present. The case in Indiana also occurred in a person who attended a fair where swine were present.
Symptoms of swine flu can include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and muscle aches.
The CDC continues to advise people to take recommended precautions when interacting with pigs or their environments, including frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with pigs that appear ill.
The CDC has issued the following tips:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
- Never eat, drink or put things in your mouth while in animal areas and don’t take food or drink into animal areas.
- Young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.
- 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.
- Avoid contact with pigs if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
- If you must come in contact with pigs while you are sick, or if you must come in contact with pigs known or suspected to be infected, or their environment, you should use appropriate protective measures (for example, wear protective clothing, gloves, masks that cover your mouth and nose, and other personal protective equipment) and practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.
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CLICK HERE for additional information via the CDC’s website.