Seasonal Influenza and Fairgoers

North and South Carolina State Fairs kick off this week; South Carolina’s on Wednesday and North Carolina on Thursday. And it’s flu season. Dr. Simon Shane, adjunct professor in veterinary science with NC State explains that avoiding catching the flu or other infections from show animals at the fair is just common sense:

There is no specific problem with livestock exhibits. The Department of Agriculture veterinarians will be examining many of the animals to be sure they don’t display an elevated temperature. However, the caution that I would make, is that anyone coming into direct contact with poultry or animals, should wash their hands thoroughly, especially children.”

In addition to washing hands, Shane offers a couple of extra pieces of advice:

“Washing hands is essential, using alcohol rubs is better. Especially if you are going to eat after visiting the animals. We have had some outbreaks in the past from the state fair.”

As far as attending one of the state fair’s while feeling unwell, or children feeling unwell, Shane strongly advises against it for a variety of reasons:

“Going to the fair while not feeling well is not a good thing. Not only will the animals be exposed but all of the other people attending the fair. It’s common courtesy to not bring that out into the public and put others at risk.”

Dr. Simon Shane, adjunct professor of veterinary medicine at NC State University is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.