DHS offers health reminders as fair season approaches

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WI (WEAU) – As fair season approaches in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is offering health reminders for when interacting with animals.
“Fairs and petting zoos are very popular and if you’re visiting one this summer, take precautions to protect yourself and your family,” DHS State Public Health Veterinarian Angie Maxted said. “The best tool we have to prevent disease is the simplest: washing your hands after any contact with animals or after being in areas where animals are present. And if any animals appear sick, do not touch them at all.”
The DHS lists the following recommendations for people who plan to attend fairs or petting zoos this summer:
Washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after touching animals or leaving areas with animals.
Staying away from animals – including cattle, pigs, or other domesticated animals – that appear sick, as well as barns or areas where sick animals are.
Preventing the spread of diseases into your home by taking off and washing clothes or shoes that were worn around animals when you get home.
Staying home if you are sick.
“Fair and exhibition season is always an exciting time here in America’s Dairyland,” Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski said. “DATCP and DHS are working together to provide clear and consistent communication to industry about highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) (H5N1), including what is happening in other states and biosecurity measures to reduce risk of infection for humans and animals.”
“Direct or indirect contact with infected animals has been linked to human infections caused by influenza A viruses,” DHS Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist Tom Haupt said. “It’s an important reminder to take precautions when touching animals during fair season, at petting zoos, or whenever you’re around animals. Talk to your health care provider if you have any respiratory symptoms or feel sick after coming in to contact with animals.”
Additional information is available on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ website HERE.
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