According to the CDC, there have been 465 people infected with Salmonella across 42 states, as of June 23. There have been 86 people hospitalized with one reported death in Oklahoma. The CDC stated that epidemiologic evidence shows that contact with backyard poultry is the likely source of these outbreaks. Almost 80 percent of the people interviewed so far reported contact with chicks and ducklings. Kentucky has the largest amount of cases at 34. Georgia and Tennessee are second with 26 cases each. During the COVID 19 lock down, many people have added backyard poultry to their homes.
The CDC states: You can get sick with Salmonella infection from touching backyard poultry or their environment. Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean and show no signs of illness. Follow these tips to stay healthy with your backyard flock:
Wash your hands.
· Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching backyard poultry, their eggs or anything in the area where they live and roam.
· Adults should supervise handwashing by young children.
· Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
Be safe around poultry.
· Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
· Don’t let backyard poultry inside the house.
· Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of the house.
· Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
· Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry.
Supervise kids around poultry.
· Always supervise children around poultry and while they wash their hands afterward.
· Children younger than 5 years of age shouldn’t handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other poultry. Young children are more likely to get sick from germs like Salmonella.
Handle eggs safely.
· Collect eggs often.
· Throw away cracked eggs.
· Eggs with dirt and debris can be cleaned carefully with fine sandpaper, a brush, or a cloth.
· Don’t wash warm, fresh eggs because colder water can pull germs into the egg.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
· Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
· The illness usually last 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
· In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
· Children younger than 5 years of age, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.