springtime Easter baby chicks

Health Department urges care in handling baby poultry

in Agriculture/Health care/News

By Cowboy State Daily

With springtime and Easter just around the corner, Wyoming’s Department of Health is warning people who buy baby poultry to use care in handling the birds to avoid the illness Salmonella.

Tiffany Greenlee, surveillance epidemiologist with the department, said in a news release that Wyoming regularly sees cases of Salmonella as a result of the improper handling of poultry.

“Because poultry chicks are soft and cute, many people want to touch, hold or even snuggle them, but this behavior can be risky because the birds can have germs on their body and in their droppings,” Greenlee said.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps and other symptoms, which can be especially severe in young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.Infections generally occur after someone puts their hands in or near their mouth after handling birds or touching areas where they live, Greenlee said.

Tips for the safe handling live birds include:

  • Children younger than 5 years of age, elderly persons or people with weak immune systems shouldn’t handle or touch chicks or other live poultry.
  • After touching live poultry or anything in the area where they are found, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t eat or drink around live poultry, touch with the mouth or hold closely to the face.
  • Don’t let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms or in areas where food or drink is prepared, served or stored.
  • Clean equipment or materials used in caring for live poultry outside the house, such as cages or feed or water containers.

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