With fair season right around the corner, leaders at the Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health are giving some tips on how to stay safe when visiting livestock exhibits this summer.
The ODA Director David Daniels says that they want to make sure guests and animals stay healthy. He says to follow the signs posted at the exhibits.
The release says 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.
Washing hands can lower the risk of getting sick from influenza, salmonella, E. Coli, and other illnesses. Also, Ohio's fair veterinarians are trained to closely monitor fair livestock and poultry for signs of illness, according to the release.
"While not common, some illnesses can be directly transmitted between animals and humans, and fairgoers need to keep that in mind this summer," said ODH Director Lance Himes.
They also suggest parents 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.
ODA works with fair boards to increase access to hand sanitizers and hand-washing stations and provides educational signs for barns.
Exhibitors who believe their animal may be sick should contact their barn manager and fair veterinarian. Fair guests who experience illness should contact a medical professional, and their local health district, the release says.