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Jul-13-2006 10:08printcomments

Oregon County Fairs Taking Precautions Against Avian Flu (AUDIO)

Experts say precautions are necessary to ensure safety, one of the primary things is for people to wash hands after any contact with animals.

Avian flu

(SALEM) - Oregon’s county fair season kicks-off this week, and state officials are taking precautions to protect animals and the public from Avian Influenza.

With Avian Flu affecting other parts of the world, and fears that it may soon spread to the U.S., the Oregon Department of Agricultures key safety concept for county fairs this summer is bio-security.

State Veterinarian Dr. Don Hansen says ODA will be asking exhibitors for permission to examine poultry.

Hansen: "We're going to be trying to sample most birds that are being exhibited at fairs this year, looking for any sign of avian influenza virus."

Hansen says bio-security doesn't stop when the fair is over. Owners bringing animals back home need to continue taking precautions.

Hansen: "They should assume the animal was exposed to some infectious agent while they were at the fair, and maybe carrying that agent back home with them or on them, and incubating a disease in the days following the fair."

Fairgoers are being reminded to make sure they wash their hands after touching the animals, especially before eating any food.

In Salem, I’m Kevin Hays reporting for Salem-News.com


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