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Protect against zoonotic diseases


Texas

September is National Preparedness Month. It is also time for the Tri-State Fair.

During this time, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to remind parents and caregivers to be aware of zoonotic diseases, and how to protect against possible infection.

"It is important for parents and caregivers to understand how to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases," said Brandon Boughen, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Potter County.

Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be shared between animals and people, Boughen said. A person can become infected with an animal disease indirectly through flies, mosquitoes, ticks and fleas; and directly through close contact with animals.

Examples of zoonotic diseases are rabies, salmonellosis and West Nile virus, he said.

"These can mostly be prevented by thoroughly washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer," Boughen said.

Some of the main attractions of the fair are the livestock, he said.

"While these livestock are all given a check up before they can come to the fair, that doesn't mean they can't get sick while they are there," Boughen said.

"Just make sure you and your kids wash your hands before and after petting the animals to ensure there's no spread of illness."

For more information, go to http://texashelp.tamu.edu or contact your county AgriLife Extension office or the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Date: 9/17/2012



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