INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Fair gives kids a chance to get up-close to all kinds of animals – but those animals can also carry all sorts of viruses and bacteria, according to health officials.
Doctors were reminding fairgoers on Friday to wash or sanitize their hands after touching any livestock, especially before eating.
Riley Hospital for Children Pediatrician Dr. Michael McKenna said the fair typically does a good job of keeping sick animals away from humans.
"The things I would be more concerned about are if you are a child that has allergies, or maybe you didn't know your child was allergic to a certain kind of animal," McKenna said. "That, I think, would be much more likely to be happening. Or, for children who have asthma, things like animal dander and just being around animal fur can exacerbate those things."
Also of concern are shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery, and hand, foot and mouth disease – both of which are still spreading in Central Indiana from human-to-human contact.
"There is the shigella outbreak here in the city and we've been seeing some hand, foot, mouth disease. That's not really passed by animals," McKenna said. "But, again, you're in a place where there's a lot of different people together. So honestly I think the people around you are going to be more concerning than the animals because nobody checks the people every day to make sure they're healthy. So things like the Shigella outbreak and hand, foot, mouth disease, those are the things I'd be more worried about than anything you could get from an animal."
And McKenna said it's not just our hands we need to be concerned about. He advised fairgoers to check their shoes after walking through barns to make sure you don't transfer any fecal matter that can carry diseases like E. coli.
One-pawed cat found frozen ready for new home
An Indianapolis cat found frozen to a water meter has overcome physical and social adversities and is ready to find a special forever home.
Bloomington teen braves cold for good cause
Despite the below-average temperatures, a Bloomington teenager is braving the elements for a good cause.
6 face fed. charges in case of abducted teens
Federal charges were filed Wednesday against six people suspected in the abduction of two Indianapolis teens earlier this week.
Hesburgh remembered for his acts of kindness
The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who transformed the University of Notre Dame into an academic power during his more than three decades as…
Man shot in Wal-Mart parking lot on west side
A man told police he was shot in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart on the city's west side Wednesday evening.
Items seized in drug raid donated to high school
Police decided to donate multiple items seized during a drug raid to help educate students at a local high school.