The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 600 people had been infected with salmonella coming from backyard chickens and ducks. The report covers the last couple of months, and the cases are spread all over 45 states.
The highest number of cases has been registered in New York, with almost 67 people infected. Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia came in a second place, with more than 30 cases each.
Most of the people who caught salmonella are children, and 138 of the victims had to be hospitalized.
The medical experts recommend that every person should wash their hands after handling the chickens.
The number of backyard chickens has increased in the last decade, as more and more people are interested in growing them around the house.
Veterinarians advise people to be careful when it comes to sanitation. The cages and the ground must be kept clean, and the waters and the feeders must be properly washed.
The eggs are an important motivation in having hens around the house. The chickens are easy to take care of, and they are fun for children.
Health officials recommend people always to wash hands with soap and water after touching the chickens. Even the poultry that looks clean and seems healthy can carry the bacteria.
The disease could not be traced to any place in particular. People who got infected with salmonella are the ones that bought live poultry and those who had contact with chicken at work, at home, or near the school. The sources of live poultry were also very diverse, starting from Internet sites that sold them up to friends or feed supply stores.
The CDC also recommends not letting the chicken in the house and be very careful when they come around food or drinks.
Another advice refers to not allowing children under the age of five to handle chicks or ducklings without adult supervision, as almost 200 kids that got sick were less than five years old.
The salmonella bacillus can be found worldwide, and animals carry it. There are several species that can cause food poisoning, paratyphoid fever, and typhoid fever. The infection is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food.
The CDC experts the outbreaks to continue in the next months as the backyard chicken owners may not be aware of the risks they are exposing to and may not know how to take precaution measures while and after handling live poultry.
Image Source: Pixabay
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