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5 Ways to Protect Yourself While Visiting the SC State Fair Animal Exhibits

Each October, families from all over South Carolina visit the South Carolina State Fair. Celebrating 150 years, the fair has food, rides, exhibits, and entertainment. The animal exhibits have always been some of the more popular attractions.

Some animals and livestock may carry germs and diseases that can be harmful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to help prevent the spread of disease while visiting the livestock exhibits.

  • Wash Your Hands.
    • Find a handwashing station and wash your hands right after touching animals or anything in the areas where they live, roam, or eat.
    • Wash your hands after leaving animal areas, even if you didn’t touch the animals.
    • Running soap and water is best, but if not available, make sure that the sanitizer contains at least 60 percent alcohol and wash your hands with soap and running water as soon as you can.
  • Keep food and animals separate.
    • Do not eat or drink around animals.
    • Keep food and drinks away from animal areas.
    • Do not share your food with them, even if you think the food is part of their diet.
  • Do not consume raw products. Raw (unpasteurized) products made or sold at animal exhibits may include: milk, cheese, cider, or juice.
  • Always keep a watchful eye on children around animals.
    • Children 5 years or younger should not have contact with reptiles, amphibians, or live poultry because these animals are more likely to make them sick.
    • Do not let children sit or play on the ground in animal areas.
  • Leave items such as strollers, pacifiers, cups, and toys outside animal areas.

Even healthy animals can carry germs that might make visitors sick. Every year, many people get sick after visiting an animal exhibit. People have reported E.coli, cryptosporidium, and salmonella infections. Those at greatest risk of becoming ill are children 5 years and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and adults over 65 years.

For more information about the livestock competitions and petting zoo at this year’s fair, visit scstatefair.org.