7 salmonella cases in Minn. linked to handling baby chicks, ducklings

The Star Tribune is reporting that seven illnesses have been reported in Minnesota among people who have handled baby chicks or ducklings, the state Health Department reported this morning.

The cases of salmonellosis occurred from late March through late May, the department said, adding that those falling ill were ages 5 months to 70 years old.

Two people, the 5-month-old and a 42-year-old, required hospitalization for a few days.

Dr. Joni Scheftel, the department’s public health veterinarian, said,

"In a typical year, a handful of the approximately 700 salmonella infections diagnosed in Minnesotans are linked to contact with chicks and ducklings."

The Health Department offered these guidelines to avoid infection:

• Do not let children less than 5 years of age handle poultry.

• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling poultry or their droppings.

• Do not eat or drink around poultry or their living areas.

• Do not let poultry live inside a home.

• Do not wash the birds’ food and water dishes in the kitchen sink.

Same thing happened last year, and pretty well every other year.

And don’t kiss pet turtles, no matter how emotionally deprived you are as a child.