Health Team

Protect yourself from H1N1 at the State Fair

Posted October 19, 2009 12:39 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2009 6:33 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.