State urges fairgoers practice good hygiene to avoid illness

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two state agencies are urging people attending Ohio county fairs this summer to practice good hygiene when visiting livestock exhibits.

The Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health issued its advisory after reports that nearly 300 hogs at the Clinton County Fair in southwest Ohio would have to be destroyed. At least two hogs tested positive for swine flu, which can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with pigs.

The agencies say visitors should wash their hands after petting or touching any animal and shouldn't eat, drink or put anything in their mouths while visiting livestock exhibits.

Parents and caregivers should carry young children and leave strollers outside exhibits.

The agencies also advise that older people, pregnant women, small children and people with weakened immune systems should avoid livestock exhibits.