Local News

Have the flu? N.C. wants you to stay away from fairs

Posted August 4, 2009 12:16 p.m. EDT

— The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants anyone with flulike symptoms to stay away from county and state fairs this year.

Its reason: to protect the state's $1.9 billion pork industry.

State veterinarian Dr. David Marshall said Tuesday that the H1N1 influenza strain could possibly spread to swine.

State agriculture officials also want fairgoers to use hand-washing stations before and after entering animal exhibits and before eating.

They also want fair managers to add a 6-foot barrier around any swine exhibits and exhibitors to monitor carefully their animals' health while at fairs and when they return to farms.

Fairs across the state have used hand-washing stations in recent years to protect humans from animal-borne illnesses, such as E.coli.

The county fair season runs July through November. The State Fair in Raleigh runs Oct. 15-25.