Fair Season Sparks Health Concerns

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Ohio officials urge people to wash hands and take other hygiene precautions while visiting county fairs this summer.

Several county fairs in Ohio and Indiana were linked to swine flu cases last year, with at least 11 Ohioans hospitalized after contracting the virus. The Centers for Disease Control said 10 children were hospitalized after visiting Ohio fairs, and a 61-year-old woman from Madison County died after having contact with hogs at the Ross County Fair. Officials say she had underlying conditions including heart disease and high blood pressure.

The Ohio Departments of Health and Agriculture say they have worked with fairs, youth organizations and veterinarians to increase hand-sanitizing and washing stations. They say older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems can be vulnerable.