As coronavirus increases, many have taken to old timey ways of raising food.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar has een reported from 28 states.
17 people (34% of those with information available) have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.
30% of ill people are children younger than 5 years of age.
Epidemiologic evidence shows that contact with backyard poultry (such as chicks and ducklings) is the likely source of this outbreak.
In interviews, 38 (86%) of 44 ill people reported contact with chicks and ducklings.
People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries.
Advice to Backyard Flock Owners
You can get sick with a Salmonella infection from touching backyard poultry or their environment. These birds can carry Salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean and show no signs of illness. Follow these tips to stay healthy with your backyard flock:
Wash your hands.
Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching backyard poultry, their eggs, or anything in the area where they live and roam.
Adults should supervise handwashing by young children.
Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
Be safe around poultry.
Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
Don’t let backyard poultry inside the house, especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.
Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of the house.
Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry, such as cages and containers for feed or water.
Supervise kids around poultry.
Always supervise children around poultry and while they wash their hands afterward.
Children younger than 5 years of age shouldn’t handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other poultry. Young children are more likely to get sick from germs like Salmonella.
Handle eggs safely.
Collect eggs often. Eggs that sit in the nest can become dirty or break.
Throw away cracked eggs. Germs on the shell can more easily enter the egg though a cracked shell.
Eggs with dirt and debris can be cleaned carefully with fine sandpaper, a brush, or a cloth.
Don’t wash warm, fresh eggs because colder water can pull germs into the egg.
Refrigerate eggs after collection to maintain freshness and slow germ growth.
Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm. Egg dishes should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) or hotter. Raw and undercooked eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria that can make you sick.
For a complete list of recommendations, visit the Healthy Pets, Healthy People website section on backyard poultry.
My friend, veterinarian, University of Guelph prot and OK hockey player writes in his Worms and Germs blog, Scott Weese I’m not anti-backyard chickens. I’m anti-“spending the weekend on the toilet” and anti-“seeing people hospitalized unnecessarily” and, I guess, just anti-Salmonella and anti-Campylobacter in general. I can’t see any redeeming qualities of those bacteria, at least in people.