As of May 25, 2017, 372 people have been infected with strains of Salmonella traced to backyard poultry flocks. Of these people, 71 have been hospitalized and 36 percent are children under the age of five years old.
Raising poultry at home has been common in rural locations for years. Small numbers of poultry are allowed within urban city limits. But care must be taken when caring for the flock and handling the birds.
Always wash your hands after handling the birds or any equipment where they live.
Do not let birds inside the home or around areas of food preparation or serving.
While baby chicks are cute, do not snuggle or kiss them.
Clean poultry related equipment outdoors.
Collect eggs often. Wash your hands after handling eggs. Refrigerate them after collection.
More people are choosing to raise poultry, such as chickens or ducks, as part of a greener, healthier lifestyle. However, it’s important to consider the risk of illness, especially for children, from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
It’s common for chickens, ducks, and other poultry to carry Salmonella, a type of germ that naturally lives in the intestines of poultry and many other animals. Even organically fed poultry can have Salmonella. While it usually doesn’t make the birds sick, Salmonella can cause serious illness when it is passed to people.
Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.