FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday March 30, 2015 Contact: Ryan Harmon Phone: 307-235-9340

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department wants to inform parents of young children that chicks and ducklings pose a risk of salmonellosis in humans. Salmonella infection is an intestinal illness that can range from mild to very serious. Salmonella infection poses the greatest risk to children less than 5 years old, pregnant women, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

Salmonella infection is often associated with illness from food, but some animals including baby chicks, ducklings and adult poultry also carry Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella infections from chicks and ducklings often occur during the spring, when the demand for baby poultry rises.

“Raising chickens can be enjoyable for a family, and a way to provide fresh, local food to your family, but children should be supervised and should wash their hands every time after handling the chicks and other poultry,” said Dr. Kelly Weidenbach, Executive Director of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department. “A bird that is infected might appear healthy, but it might be carrying bacteria that can make people sick.”

Common symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Symptoms usually will appear between 1-3 days after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms typically last from 4 to 7 days. Contact your health care provider if your symptoms become severe or persist for more than 7 days.

Some Helpful Tips-

  •    Always wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling chicks, ducklings, other animals including reptiles and anything in the area where they live or roam.
  •    If hand washing isn’t available, use hand sanitizer but remember to wash your hands at the next opportunity.
  •    Equipment associated with raising or caring for poultry should be washed outside and not in your kitchen sink.
  •    Keep the chicks and ducklings in a designated location outside of your home and especially away from locations where food is stored, prepared or served, such as a kitchen or outdoor patio.
  •    Don’t eat, smoke or touch your mouth after handling live poultry.

For more information visit: http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellapoultry/