Three confirmed cases of salmonella in Greene county, Missouri have prompted the county to issue a warning regarding handling live chickens. The three cases are likely the result of local vendors selling live chickens.
Symptoms of salmonella may include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and/or abdominal cramps. Severe infections can lead to hospitalization. Infants, elderly persons, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. Young children are especially at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.
The warning provides the following tips for avoiding salmonella:
You can reduce the risk of salmonella infection from live poultry by doing the following:
Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without supervision.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Avoid touching your mouth before washing your hands. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
Wash hands after removing soiled clothes and shoes.
Do not eat or drink in the area where the birds live or roam.
Do not let live poultry inside the house or in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, pantries, or outdoor patios.
If you have free-roaming live poultry, assume that where they live and roam is contaminated.
Clean equipment and materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry, such as cages, feed containers, and water containers, outside the house, not inside.