By: ELICIA DOVER
As county fairs around Arkansas commence and the Arkansas State Fair gears up for opening Oct. 11, the Arkansas Department of Health gave Channel 7 tips on how to avoid catching swine flu.
Swine flu is a the influenza virus that can be transmitted from animals to people and people to animals. The virus is commonly found in swine.
Symptoms include headache, malaise or feeling crummy, fever, cough, and muscle aches.
This month, there were two confirmed cases of the swine flu which originated from 20 sick pigs at the Washington County Fair. An additional 10 people had flu-like symptoms that were associated with the same fair.
The Arkansas Department of Health says anyone coming in contact with animals at a fair should wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
Fairgoers should never eat or drink in areas where animals are housed to avoid hand to mouth contact.
Parents should leave toys, pacifiers, cups, bottles and strollers outside instead of bringing them in with the animals.
Children younger than five, people older than 65 and pregnant women are at higher risk for complications from swine flu.