<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Friday, September 29, 2023
Sept. 29, 2023

Linkedin Pinterest

Increasing salmonella cases in Washington linked to backyard poultry


YAKIMA — Health officials urge people to take precautions when handling backyard poultry after 13 cases of salmonella in Washington.

Officials are investigating salmonella cases linked to backyard poultry in eight Washington counties, the state Department of Health said in a news release. Two of the cases were in Yakima County.

The cases are part of a nationwide outbreak that has resulted in 104 cases in 31 states. No deaths have been reported in Washington, but there have been four hospitalizations.

Backyard poultry includes chicken, ducks and turkeys. salmonella bacteria can be found in the manure produced by these animals. Even if they still look healthy, poultry can still carry the bacteria and can spread it to surfaces in cages, coops, hay and plants.

“If you have a backyard flock, take steps to protect yourself and your family from salmonella infection,” said the state’s Chief Science Officer Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett. “Always wash your hands with soap and water after you’ve touched poultry, or soil or objects they’ve had contact with.”

People can become infected with salmonella by touching their mouth or food with unwashed hands, the DOH release said. Symptoms, which manifest one to three days after exposure, include diarrhea, fever, chills, stomach cramps and vomiting.

While most recover four to seven says without treatment, children, adults over 65 and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop more severe symptoms.

The DOH recommends the following for avoiding exposure to salmonella:

  • Wash your hands with soap and running water after touching backyard poultry or anything where they live and roam.
  • Don’t kiss or snuggle poultry.
  • Don’t eat or drink around your poultry.
  • Keep poultry and the supplies you use to care for them outside of your home.
  • Supervise children around birds; children younger than 5 should not touch birds.
  • Separate your flock from wildlife.
  • Practice good biosecurity.
  • Safely handle, cook, and store eggs.

For more information on how to handle backyard poultry safely, visit the DOH’s website.