County fair season is underway, which has state health officials trying to prevent an outbreak of swine flu cases like the outbreak the state saw last summer.
Last year the
"By late September we were noticing nearly 100 cases of the H3N2v influenza strain; most of those cases were from contact with swine," says Tessie Pollock of the Ohio Department of Health.
The state's lone death from H3N2v was a
Pollock says good hygiene will go a long way in prevent this from happening again. State officials have worked closely with fair boards, youth organizations and fair veterinarians to increase access to hand sanitizers and hand washing stations.
"Making sure that you're washing your hands, that you're not consuming food or drink inside the animal pens are great ways of reducing your risks of becoming ill," says Pollock.
Pollock suggests that higher risks groups such as young children, seniors, pregnant women, or those with weakened immune systems should consider not going into the animal exhibits.
Fair season in Ohio got underway this week with the Pickaway County Fair, which concludes Saturday.