Reports of infectious diseases spread by animals and insects have been on the rise this summer. Here are three infectious diseases that have been in the news recently, along with tips for how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
H3N2v, aka “swine flu,” from pigs
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- Always wash your hands after touching animals.
- Don’t eat or drink if you’re in an animal enclosure, and keep your hands away from your face.
- If you have a weak immune system or are at high-risk for flu, stay away from pigs. This includes young children and adolescents, pregnant women, people who are already sick and people ages 65 and older.
- Stay away from any animal that looks sick or acts strange. Call a veterinarian if you suspect that an animal is sick.
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Live baby poultry such as ducklings and chickens are adorable — what kid can’t resist picking up one of these cute, fuzzy, chirping animals? Don’t let their cuteness fool you: These animals can pose a health risk, especially to young children. Baby poultry, found in petting zoos, fairs and even in classrooms or at home, have been known to spread salmonella.
This year alone, baby chickens have been linked to salmonella cases in states around the country. Here are some tips to prevent illness from salmonella:
- Don’t let children younger than age 5 touch or handle chicks or ducklings.
- Don’t bring chicks, ducklings or other live poultry into your house.
- Make sure anyone who handles baby poultry washes their hands thoroughly with soap and water. Adults should help young children wash their hands. For information about hand-washing for any age group, check out our collection of Get Ready fact sheets!
West Nile virus from mosquitoes
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CDC/ Frank Collins, PhD.]
- When you go outdoors, use insect repellent — especially at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when possible.
- Mosquitoes breed in still water, so remember to empty out barrels, flowerpots and buckets that are filled with water on your property or in your neighborhood.
- Learn more about protecting yourself from mosquitoes by checking out our fact sheet (PDF).
Even though these infectious diseases are on the rise, protecting yourself can be as simple as washing your hands and wearing bug spray. We hope this helps you stay safe this summer!