The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the recent salmonella outbreaks may also be caused by people keeping poultry as pets. Hugging and kissing chickens may have transmitted the bug carried by the birds to their human owners, the agency states.
Salmonella infections are deadly to chickens, ducks, and hens, and may cause serious complications in humans. This year more than 180 people were diagnosed with the disease. The CDC also said that salmonella outbreaks occurred in 40 states since the beginning of the year.
Out of 181 cases, 33 required hospitalization. CDC investigators recently said that 95 salmonella patients who were questioned admitted to direct contact with live poultry seven days before first symptoms of the disease appeared.
“Ill people reported purchasing live poultry for backyard flocks to produce eggs or meat, or to keep as pets,”
CDC investigators also wrote in their report.
CDC also learned from patients that they even brought live chickens or hens in their homes and some of them cuddled or kissed the birds. Researchers explained that such behavior is a major risk factor in contracting the foodborne illness.
In the U.S., however, keeping live poultry as pets has turned into a nationwide fashion trend in recent years. Usually patients contract salmonella bug by direct contact with infected poultry or consuming undercooked eggs or poultry meat.
The illness is currently the most common form of food poisoning. Although symptoms vary a lot from patient to patient, infected people often report diarrhea, fever, stomach pains, vomiting, and nausea. In some cases, the illness can be fatal. The groups with the highest risk of contracting the disease are children, pregnant women, elderly people, and other people with a weakened immune system, the CDC warned.
The agency also recommends to those keeping poultry to keep a strict hygiene after getting in contact with them or anything they touched. People should wash their hands thoroughly after touching them and refrain from letting them enter their homes or keep them as pets.
Usually, you can get salmonella from eating or touching infected food with the bug rather than showing affection to live poultry in your own backyard. That’s why the public health institute issued some guidelines on how to handle raw poultry meat which include washing hands before and after processing the meat, using clean tools, and cleaning the surfaces that came in contact with raw meat. The agency also noted that breastfeeding can protect babies from contracting the illness.
Image Source: Our little Coop
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