RIDOH: Salmonella outbreaks linked to live poultry

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is reminding Rhode Islanders to practice good hygiene around live poultry, including chicks and ducklings, to protect against the spread of disease.

This reminder comes during RIDOH’s investigation of five cases of human illness due to Salmonella Braenderup linked to exposure to backyard chicks.

According to RIDOH, Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.

Some of the side effects of Salmonella in healthy people include: fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

The RIDOH advises that anyone with these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has issued precautions when around live poultry reminding the public to:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry, eggs or anything in the area where poultry live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of the house.
  • Children younger than 5 years old, adults older than 65 years old and people with weakened immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other live poultry.
  • Do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth or eat or drink around live poultry.
  • Clean any equipment used to care for live poultry outside, such as cages or feed or water containers.
  • Do not let live poultry inside your home, especially in kitchens.
  • Do not let live poultry in areas where food or drink are prepared, served or stored.

The CDC is also investigating eight outbreaks of a variety of strains of Salmonella in 47 states linked to live poultry in backyard flocks.

For more guidance from the CDC click here or call 1-800-232-4636