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Health Team

Protect yourself from H1N1 at the State Fair

Posted October 19, 2009

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— The masses of people add to the excitement of the North Carolina State Fair, but they also make it a potential breeding ground for viruses, including the H1N1 flu.

The fair is a hands-on experience. Think about all the hands that throw the same ball, shoot the same water guns or keep a white-knuckled grip on the rides' safety bars.

Protect yourself from H1N1 at the State Fair Fair fun without the flu

Those shared surfaces and close proximity of people raise the risk of catching of H1N1 and other germs.

There are some simple precautions you can take, though, to avoid the spread of disease.

Carry a bottle of alcohol-based gel to sanitize your hands. Use the hand-washing sinks located around the animal exhibits.

If you're not vaccinated for the seasonal or H1N1 flu, watch out for people who are sneezing and coughing. Keep at least 6 feet away from them.

You can also get the seasonal flu vaccine at a tent at the fair.

The State Fair has one safe bet for avoiding the flu: anything fried. Not even the worst viruses can survive in the hot oil those tasty treats are cooked in.

For the sake of your long-term health, though, don't overdo it with the fried foods.

If you are sick or have been around someone else who has the flu, avoid going into public places, like the office, school or the State Fair.

4 Comments

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  • hazeyc Oct 22, 2009

    Sorry to everyone at the fair who thought my child was sick. He coughs due to allergies and congestion. We are working with a doctor to alleviate this.
    I sure did get some looks though.

  • scientistjo Oct 21, 2009

    "The flu is passed mostly via air." -WXYZ

    This is incorrect. The flu does not float through the air trying to find its next victim. The flu is passed by person-to-person contact or through respiratory droplets (i.e. cough, sneeze, then touch something like a doorknob, then you touch that).

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 20, 2009

    This is a good story on how to protect yourself from the flu. They're not saying it's an optimal breeding ground, but that you should protect yourself...and these are the few steps you can take.

    Good advice, WRAL. :-)

  • WXYZ Oct 20, 2009

    Hey WRAL. Your article is illadvised. With regard to getting the flu, which of the following locations would be the lowest risk? State Fair, School, Home, Office, Mall, Grocery Store. Correct Answer: State Fair. Explain: The flu is passed mostly via air. The State Fair is mostly out-side, with no recirculated air, plenty of wind, solar radiation etc to kill airborne viruses. Also, few if any flu-infected people who "have" to go to the fair. All of these factors and more render the probability of flu transmission at the State Fair extremely low, compared to the other indoor locations. The main justification for hand cleaning at the fair is because the probability of contamination with toxic BACTERIA (e.g. e. choli, staff, strep, salmonella etc), which you then rub into your eyes and nose or swallow, at the Fair, is much higher than any Flu virus. You are causing undue anxiety about the H1N1. And, you are giving advice based on POSSIBILITY, rather than rational PROBABILITY.