Bryan Mollaun of Best Way out of Greensburg cleans off one of 8 handwashing/sanitizing stations set up Friday at the fairgrounds. The JC Health Dept. has provided the stations at each livestock building, the medical building, midway entrance, fair office and one other central location in their campaign to keep fairgoers healthy.
With four cases of Swine flu diagnosed at the Grant County Fair last week, and the danger of e-coli ever present, the Jennings County Health Department has taken extra steps to help keep your JC Fair experience a happy one this week. The department is furnishing 8 hand washing/ sanitizing stations strategically located throughout the event. The stations will be located outside of the four livestock barns as well as one at the medical building, the midway entrance, fair office and one in a general location. According to JC Public Health Nurse Pam Petry, this is being done as part of the department's campaign to promote the simple act of hand washing as a way to stop the spread of disease. Washing your hands is one of the most important steps a person can take to avoid the spread of germs. (See the dept.'s ad on page 6A in today's Sun.) Thousands of visitors will flock to 4-H fairs this month to enjoy their favorite fair food and the animals their relatives and friends have raised. The simple act of washing your hands before you eat and/or after petting an animal or touching any part of an animal's pen can save you a lot of grief. People who have been sick, who have a high risk of complications from the flu, who are pregnant or who have chronic health issues should avoid contact with livestock, particularly swine, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new variant strain of influenza A, H3N2v, was confirmed in Indiana and several other states last summer. This Swine flu virus may pass between people and swine easier than other strains. This is the same Swine flu that four fairgoers in Grant County contracted recently. In the past, the health dept. has shared a booth with one or two other community agencies, but this year they will host their own. "There is so much the health department has to offer in terms of education that we decided we needed to bring in more of our staff," said Petry. In addition to lots of information, the dept. will also be recruiting volunteers for emergency preparedness. All sorts of volunteer skills are needed, from helping to park cars, to keeping records to answering phone to helping with medical services. Stop by their booth and check it out.