GEUAGA COUNTY -- A woman in Southern Ohio dies after contracting swine flu. It's the state's first H3N2v-related death.
There are simple things that can keep you safe from swine flu. It's these steps that organizers are sharing at the state's oldest fair. Animals are a mainstay at the Great Geauga County Fair with more than 3,000 of them onsite.
Organizers say their health and yours is always a top priority.
"The H3N2 influenza has certainly been on our radar since it's detection a couple months ago," said Paul Harris, secretary of the fair.
Organizers say every year they disinfect barns and check animals for signs of illness as they come onto the grounds. But this year they're taking extra precautions to keep the swine flu strain from spreading any further.
Jaime Paul, from Cuyahoga County, showed pigs with 4-H growing up. She says doesn't worry about keeping 4-year-old Hayden safe.
"We washed our hands and then we used the hand sanitizer too, didn't we?" said Paul.
Of Ohio's 99 cases of H3N2v, most have been in children and others with compromised immune systems.
"I know the swine flu is really big, because that's one of my biggest worries having a two-year-old, a three-year-old and a seven-year-old, it's very easy to get prone to any kind of disease," said dad Tevin Wilson.
To stay safe and enjoy the sights and sounds:
- Avoid direct contact with pigs
- Use those handwashing stations to wash your hands with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
- Never eat, drink, or touch your mouth in animal areas, and don't take food or drinks inside the barns.
"The best preventative medicine for it is just common sense practices, handwashing, the same way you stop the spread of any kind of influenza," said Harris.
Stay healthy to enjoy everything else the 190th Great Geauga County Fair has to offer.
"It's going great so far. We're up on attendance and we have great weather so far. Nice warm and sunny. Breeze is blowing, everyone is out enjoying themselves," Harris said.
Despite the newest of this strain, experts say it's not as scary as seasonal flu, which kills thousands of people every year.