Tips to stay healthy around summer crowds and animals

Photo: Iowa State Fair

The North Dakota Department of Health is reminding people to take some extra precautions during outdoor celebrations and events. 

The various fairs, festivals, carnivals and rodeos – any place with crowds and animals, essentially – are places where germs and influenza can be passed back and forth between humans and animals.  

“Simple precautions such as washing your hands with soap and clean, running water before and after being around live animals, will help reduce the chance of illness interrupting your summer fun,” says Health Department Epidemiologist Laura Cronquist. 

The general recommendations are basic and practically common sense: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use a 60 percent alcohol based hand sanitizer. 

  • If you’re sick or an animal looks sick, avoid contact in enclosed spaces. 

  • Don’t eat or drink while in a petting zoo or livestock viewing area. 

  • Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers or similar items into animal viewing areas or petting areas. 

  • Never touch an animal unless invited to do so by the animal’s owner. 

The state health department also suggests anyone at risk for serious complications from infectious diseases like influenza or E.coli consider avoiding contact with live animals at fairs or similar events. 

You can read the health department’s complete news release here.