State Epidemiologist Encourages Healthy Practices At Fairs, Rodeos

Jul 26, 2019

Credit Wyoming Department of Health

For many in Wyoming, summertime brings fairs and rodeos, but these activities can serve as fertile ground for a number of diseases.

The Wyoming Department of Health wants residents of the state to take precautions when coming into contact with animals this summer.

Courtney Smith is an epidemiologist for the Department of Health. She said people can be exposed to diseases such as salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter during traditional summer events.

"Every year we see cases related to animal contact and a lot of this occurs at different animal exhibits like fairs, rodeos, petting zoos - and also from people who regularly work with animals," Smith said.

She added that fortunately, good hand-washing practices go a long way to guarding against these illnesses. People should wash their hands after touching animals or their living areas and after taking off clothes that have also come into contact with animals.

The most common diseases spread by animal contact are generally not life-threatening for typically healthy people - but children, older people and those who are pregnant are especially at risk.