Backyard flock? Take precautions against Salmonella when handlin - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Backyard flock? Take precautions against Salmonella when handling live poultry

(Source: Stock image/Pixabay) (Source: Stock image/Pixabay)

Over the past few years, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services reports that outbreaks of Salmonella infections associated with live poultry in backyard flocks have become more common in Kentucky and around the United States.

According to the Cabinet, in 2016 alone, Kentucky has had more Salmonella cases associated with live poultry outbreaks than in the previous years (2011-2015) combined.

"Salmonella bacteria can be found in the intestines of poultry and animals. The types of infections are relatively common, generally resulting in diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection," Dr. Robert Brawley, manager of the infectious disease section of the Department for Public Health. "Although most people recover without treatment within four to seven days, severe infections may occur, especially in young infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The public needs to be knowledgeable about possible sources of infection, such as backyard flocks, and take steps to avoid getting sick."

From January to October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported eight multi-state outbreaks of Salmonella infection linked to live poultry with nearly 900 cases resulting in 209 hospitalizations and three deaths.

Poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, often carry Salmonella, a type of germ that naturally lives in the intestines of poultry and other animals. These birds can carry Salmonella bacteria, regardless of where they were bought and even if they look healthy and clean.

"These outbreaks are a reminder that Kentuckians with backyard flocks need to follow steps to keep their families healthy while enjoying their backyard poultry," said Dr. Brawley, who recommends the following:

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where the birds live and roam
  • Clean equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house, such as cages and feed or water containers
  • Do not bring live poultry inside the house, even for a short time
  • Supervise children younger than five years who are handling or touching chicks, ducklings or other live poultry

For more information, you can click here to visit the CDC website on Salmonella infections from live poultry.

You can also click here to visit the Cabinet for Health and Family Services online.

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