NC fairgoers urged to wash hands to protect pigs

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - After years of advising fairgoers in North Carolina to wash their hands to protect themselves from animal-borne illnesses, officials have issued an advisory to protect livestock from getting sick.

The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on Tuesday issued a warning to 2009 fair patrons to wash their hands to prevent the spread of human-borne illnesses to pigs, specifically the H1N1 virus more commonly known as the swine flu.

Fairgoers are asked to avoid the fair if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, and especially stay away from any animal exhibits. Veterinary officials also recommend that fair managers add a 6-foot barrier around any swine exhibits to further separate humans from animals.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)