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Pig at the Iowa State Fair Getty Images/Scott Olson

Summer: Fun, fairs and flu?

Influenza is a zoonotic disease, which can be transmitted from people to pigs and pigs to people.

Summer has arrived and along come vacations, picnics and county fairs — sounds like fun and not a good time to become ill with influenza, which can happen any time of year.

The Center for Disease Control has recently released two guidelines for fair organizers and those exhibiting pigs at the fair to help avoid the spread of influenza. Influenza is a zoonotic disease, which can be transmitted from people to pigs and pigs to people.

Knowing the key prevention facts will help keep all fair-goers and exhibitors healthy and having fun at the fair.

Issues for fair organizers to consider when planning fairs
This guidance has been developed to assist fair organizers, county boards and other fair personnel to reduce the risk of spreading influenza at the event. The CDC has recommendations on facilities, animal areas, animal health and high-risk populations. Individuals involved in the planning and preparation of a fair can read more on the best practices to avoid the transmission of disease in animal settings. This guidance is available in English and Spanish.

Key facts for people exhibiting pigs at fair
This guidance from CDC focuses on those individuals exhibiting pigs at fairs — many of who are 4-Hers. To protect those most likely to get infected and develop serious illness, CDC and 4-H National Headquarters recommend exhibitors (and their friends or family) take note and action to help prevent the spread of flu between pigs and people. These guidelines include information for high-risk individuals, preventative actions and measure to take if you do become ill. This guidance is also available in English and Spanish.

Videos available
The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center has developed a variety of educational and training videos on agricultural health and safety. This includes training videos for 4-Hers and youth working at the fair, and an information video that explains zoonotic disease and the best practices to avoid transmitting the flu virus between people and pigs and pigs and people.

These videos can be accessed through the UMASH webpage.

Source: Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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