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OSDH cautions Salmonella risk from baby poultry

KOKH – Oklahoma City logo KOKH – Oklahoma City 3/26/2021 Kevin Severin
a close up of a chicken © Provided by KOKH – Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) - Cases of Salmonella infection increase each year around Easter time when stores begin putting baby poultry on display.

The CDC estimates Salmonella bacteria causes about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States every year.

According to Dr. LeMac’ Morris, state public health veterinarian at the OSDH, even birds that look healthy and clean can transmit Salmonella.

The OSDH suggests the following safety tips:

  • Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth while handling poultry.
  • Wash hands with soap and water right after handling any types of birds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 62% ethyl alcohol.
  • Do not wash animal food and water dishes from a backyard poultry flock in the kitchen sink.
  • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without supervision.

Officials say symptoms usually begin six hours to six days after infection and last four to seven days.

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