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Multistate Salmonella outbreaks linked to backyard poultry

The Plumas County Public Health Agency released information today, July 15, regarding a Salmonella outbreak across the country, with closes cases reported in Butte, Lassen and Shasta counties.

Backyard poultry, such as chickens and ducks, can carry Salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to anything in the areas where the poultry live and roam. One can get sick from touching backyard poultry or anything in their environment and then touching one’s mouth or food and swallowing Salmonella germs.

As of July 13, 48 states have reported Salmonella linked to backyard poultry. Of the 572 cases thus far, there have been 92 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently has this case open and is actively investigating. In California, 41 cases have been identified, including cases in Butte, Shasta and Lassen Counties.

Though a concerning situation, there are precautions one can take to prevent Salmonella transmission from flock to family. Backyard flock owners should always wash their hands with soap and water immediately after touching backyard poultry, their eggs, or anything in the area where they live and roam. Hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not readily available. Clothes and shoes worn while around poultry should not be taken inside your home. It is important not to touch your face after handling backyard poultry, nor eat or drink around them. This can spread Salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick. Children should be supervised while around poultry. Young children are more likely to get sick from germs like Salmonella.

It is important to also collect eggs often and throw away any cracked eggs. Keep eggs clean by rubbing dirt off using cloth or brush. Refrigerating eggs will keep them fresh longer and slow the growth of germs. It is encouraged to cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm, and cook egg dishes to an internal temperature of 160°F to kill all germs.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration such as lack of urination, dry mouth/throat, or feeling dizzy when standing upMore information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/backyardpoultry-06-22/index.html.


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