Direct Contact With Live Poultry Increases Infection Risks

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The risks associated with infection outbreaks continue to increase. But to experts, consumers have the tools in their hands to avoid infections if they simply begin following certain important steps.

Salmonella infectionAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 181 people in at least 40 states across the country have been infected with the Salmonella bacteria after having contact with live poultry. They include ducklings, chickens, and chicks. In most cases, those who fell ill have backyard flocks.

Out of the nearly 200 people who fell ill, 33 had to be hospitalized as a result of their infections.

The growing number of Americans and residents being directly impacted by this type of outbreaks is concerning officials. And to make sure others are not being exposed to the same risks, the CDC is warning consumers who raise their own backyard poultry to stay alert and avoid direct contact.

In cases reviewed by the CDC, infected people reported bringing the live poultry into their homes. But that’s not the only problem. According to officials, those who were infected also reported “kissing or cuddling” with the animals.

Officials claim this particular behavior increase the risk of infection prompted by exposure to Salmonella.

For years, this problem has been on the radar, but people who are involved in poultry care seem to do little to have the problem addressed. As a result, more infections are reported.

According to poultry and safety experts, those who own poultry and have them in their backyard are urged to make sure their hands are washed thoroughly after handling the animals. While many families consider chickens to be lovable pets, children are particularly tempted to come close and handle baby chicks.

But Salmonella infections are not only prompted by direct contact with chickens. Experts remind consumers that Salmonella is in feces and dirt. Not washing up properly after certain activities will, undoubtedly, lead to health problems.

Having a common sense approach to the issue means following preventive steps, such as washing your hands with soap and warm water or using hand sanitizer. If you have a coop, keep the sanitizer at hand.

Salmonella usually spreads when consumers eat contaminated or undercooked poultry. Healthy consumers who are impacted suffer some symptoms but are quick to recover while those with compromised immune systems may take longer to fight the infection.

Children and the elderly are also at greater risk for severe illness if they are exposed to Salmonella.

In the years between 1991 and 2012, 45 outbreaks caused by Salmonella were linked to contact with live poultry. Those outbreaks accounted for over 1,500 cases of individuals falling ill and 5 deaths. While this is a small fraction of the 1.2 million Americans who fall ill due to Salmonella infections every year, consumers must be advised they may be exposed to risks under certain conditions. Knowing what to do and how to deal with the problem is important to avoid more cases in the future.

For important tips on how to avoid Salmonella infections in the future, follow this link for the full article.

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