Salmonella outbreak prompts Dept. of Health warning: 'Don't snug - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Salmonella outbreak prompts Dept. of Health warning: 'Don't snuggle or kiss live poultry'

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -

The Washington Department of Health says nationally there were 1,120 Salmonella cases linked to backyard poultry in 2017, with 23 of those reported in Washington. 

Those 23 cases were more than double the number of cases in the previous two years combined. 

"Salmonella can cause serious illness," the Department of Health said. "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."

The DOH says owning backyard poultry can be a great experience, but they offered the following tips to anyone looking to restock or start their backyard flocks this spring. 

  • 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.
  • Don’t snuggle or kiss live poultry or allow them in family living spaces.
  • Adults should supervise young children when handling live poultry.

For more information on safe live poultry handling and the health risks associated with Salmonella, visit the DOH website.

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