Going to the fair to show animals is the highlight for many kids and adults alike. But like so many other places where people and animals gather (think kids going back to school, or office environments) there is a greater potential for spreading diseases if you aren’t ready. Environmental factors like heat and humidity also aid in the ability for disease to spread, and guess what summers tend to have a lot of.
Spreading an infection is easier than you would think. Take a moment to image yourself walking around on a summer fair day. Are you touching your face? Have you wiped sweat from your forehead? Now are you touching fencing, pen walls, have you picked something off of the ground? AND TOUCHING YOUR FACE AGAIN?
Not only can you catch what’s being spread, but you could also be a carrier. The more pens you visit (and the more items you possibly touch), the more you may be picking up and transporting. Keeping yourself from coming into contact with any virus can be tough, but with a few simple arrangements you can increase your continued good health.
To keep ahead of any contamination, there are several things you can do. In addition to making sure your animals are healthy to start with, you can give them a quick bath with a spray hose to knock loose any dirt or possible contaminates.
- Hand Sanitizer
Most fairs have stations set up that dispense hand sanitizer, allowing guests to maintain a basic level of cleanliness. Pocket containers of hand sanitizer are a relatively cheap and easy way to keep up with hygiene.
- Disinfecting Footbath Mats
To make sure you don’t track any possible contaminates, you can place a disinfecting footbath mat at the entrance or exit to your area. Cleaning/disinfecting liquid is poured into the mat, and disinfects the bottoms of shoes or animal feet as they pass over.
- Hand Washing
At any point, especially before and after eating, washing your hands gives you a clean slate. Most bacteria and viruses can be removed or killed with hot water and soap.
- Proper Food or Trash Disposal
The history between garbage and health problems has been well documented, so why add to it now? Make sure that trash is put in its proper place, and try to keep food out of areas where contamination is likely.
No matter to what degree you decide to keep yourself safe, any measure helps. With common animal flu's being so easy to spread, every precaution can make you and the livestock that much safer.
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