[2/22/18] 2017 Had More Salmonella Cases Linked To Backyard Poultry Than Ever Before

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OLYMPIA, Washington — In 2017, the United States had more Salmonella cases linked to backyard poultry than ever before. Federal health officials tracked 1,120 cases involving 48 states and Washington D.C.

In Washington state, 23 cases associated with this outbreak were reported to state health officials. The Washington State Department of Health says this is more than double the number of cases of Salmonella associated with backyard poultry outbreaks in the previous two years combined.

“Salmonella can cause serious illness,” said the DOH in a release. “You can get the infection from a variety of sources, including eating contaminated food or drinking water, touching infected animals and not washing your hands. While anyone can get a Salmonella infection, children are especially at risk of illness because they are less likely to wash their hands and have more frequent hand-to-mouth contact than adults.”

Anyone looking to restock or start their backyard flocks this spring be sure to always wash hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Even healthy-looking chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys can carry the Salmonella bacteria. Officials advise that owners don’t snuggle or kiss live poultry or allow them in family living spaces; adults should supervise young children when handling live poultry.