The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning people to be careful with how they handle live poultry, as they might get infected with Salmonella. They reported 372 cases of people who fell ill with Salmonella between January and May 2017 but, fortunately, there were no deaths.
- There were 372 cases of Salmonella infection from live poultry.
- The virus can spread if you touch the birds and don’t wash your hands afterwards.
- Don’t treat poultry as pets and keep them away from your house to prevent infection.
Among the Salmonella symptoms, there is fever, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain. These might start occurring between 12 and 72 hours after the infection. In about a week, patients usually recover from the disease, but sometimes the infection might be more severe and, then, it requires hospitalization. People with weaker immune systems, older people, or children are more likely to get a more severe infection.
Most of the reported Salmonella cases were caused by a strain of the virus transmitted by live poultry. These infections have started occurring more often, since more people now keep poultry in their backyards. They are dangerous, since they might be infected with Salmonella even if they appear clean.
Chicks and ducklings are more likely to carry Salmonella in their feces or on their bodies and beaks, and can easily transmit it to people when they handle them. Therefore, keep your kids away from cuddling baby poultry. Also, the virus can spread to the areas where the birds live, or get on the cages, water dishes, and plants in the surroundings.
Always wash your hands thoroughly after getting into contact with poultry, their eggs, or their cages, and do not touch your mouth or face while being around them. Keep them away from your house, and also keep your children away from them as much as possible.
However, if the kids want to get close, do not let them unsupervised and always wash them thoroughly afterwards. As mentioned above, don’t treat poultry as pets. Do not cuddle with them or kiss them, as this is one of the surest ways to get infected.
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