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Sportsmen get health lessons at fair

September 29, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. -- For as beautiful and perhaps tasty as deer can be, the creatures have been known to carry a host of diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

That's why registered nurse Lori Best set out to help hunters understand the importance of taking precautionary measures when gutting the animals this fall. She distributed brochures, plastic gloves and hand sanitizer at the Fulton County Medical Center Sportsman's Health Fair on Sunday.

Best also shone a black light on visitors' hands to show them how bacteria can hide in crevices and around fingernails even after hand washing. One man walked away from Best's table having discovered just that.

"You could still see the germs on his hand," she said.

The 21st annual Sportsman's Health Fair featured several door prizes for children and adults. Among them was a Savage 17 model rifle that adults could win by visiting 14 screening stations.

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"This year we're giving away the gun, so I think that's a pretty big draw," said Misty Hershey, medical center spokeswoman.

The crowd stretched down the hall and out into the parking lot while waiting for the doors to open at noon at the American Legion.

Geraldine Palmer, of Needmore, Pa., said she joined her husband, Frank, at the event so she could have her cholesterol evaluated. Frank Palmer came to the fair in past years, and his wife said those visits allowed him to have his health checked.

"Otherwise, he wouldn't go," she said.

"I think it's great to have a checkup," said Dave Lippert of McConnellsburg.

He and his wife, Mona, hunt and fish regularly. The couple said they imagine hunters with hidden heart problems would especially benefit from the electrocardiogram (EKG) available at the health fair.

"This could alert you to the possibility," Mona Lippert said.

She has had problems with high cholesterol. However, she lowered her cholesterol 140 points in one year after learning about red yeast rice from another visitor in line at a past health fair.

Buck gun season starts Dec. 1 in Pennsylvania.

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