Nationally, 2017 had more Salmonella cases linked to backyard poultry than ever recorded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Federal health officials tracked 1,120 cases in the US, with 23 cases in Washington.
According to health officials, this is more than double the number of cases of Salmonella associated with backyard poultry outbreaks in the previous two years combined.
The outbreak has prompted officials to issue warnings to anyone who cares for or handles chickens on their property.
They say that while “Owning backyard poultry can be a great experience” but anyone looking to continue or start raising chickens at home should follow a number of steps.
- Always wash hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Even healthy-looking chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys can carry the Salmonella bacteria.
- Don’t snuggle or kiss live poultry or allow them in family living spaces.
- Adults should supervise young children when handling live poultry.
Salmonella can cause serious illness. You can get the infection from a variety of sources, including eating contaminated food or drinking water, touching infected animals and not washing your hands. While anyone can get a Salmonella infection, children are especially at risk of illness because they are less likely to wash their hands and have more frequent hand-to-mouth contact than adults.
For more information on safe live poultry handling and the health risks associated with Salmonella, visit the DOH website.
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