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North Dakotans Reminded to Stay Safe at Summer Events
North Dakota Ag Connection - 07/10/2018

Summer fairs and outdoor festivals are important North Dakota traditions. The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) reminds people to take healthy precautions at fairs, festivals, carnivals and rodeos this summer. Certain germs, like Campylobacter, E. coli and influenza, can be passed back and forth between humans and animals.

"With so many outdoor festivities and gatherings, summer is a great time to enjoy activities with friends, family and pets," said Laura Cronquist, an epidemiologist with the NDDoH. "Simple precautions such as washing your hands with soap and clean, running water before and after being around live animals will help reduce the chance of illness interrupting your summer fun."

General recommendations:

- Wash your hands! If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

- Avoid contact with any animal or viewing animals in enclosed spaces, such as barns, if you are sick or if the animal looks sick.

- Do not eat or drink while in petting zoos or livestock viewing areas.

- Do not take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into animal viewing/petting areas.

- NEVER touch an animal unless invited to do so by the animal's owner.

Anyone at risk for serious complications from infectious diseases like influenza or E. coli may consider avoiding contact with live animals and their environments at fairs or similar events. High-risk individuals include young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older, and those with long-term health conditions. People with respiratory conditions may consider avoiding enclosed spaces where livestock are present, such as barns and indoor arenas.

Anyone who becomes ill after contact with livestock or other animals should contact a healthcare provider and should tell the healthcare provider about the animal contact. For more information about these topics, visit the Division of Disease Control website at www.ndhealth.gov/disease/ or call 701.328.2378.

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