Four recent Salmonella cases in Kitsap County are part of a nationwide outbreak linked to backyard poultry, a state Department of Health news release says.
Cases have also been reported in Cowlitz, Grant, King, Skagit, Spokane, Thurston and Yakima counties, a Kitsap Public Health District news release states. Nationwide, 104 cases have been identified across 31 states.
Salmonella are bacteria that can be found in bird droppings. Backyard poultry, such as chickens and ducks, can carry Salmonella, even if they seem healthy and clean, per the release. The bacteria spread easily to cages, coops, hay, plants, and soil. You can get sick from Salmonella by touching poultry or their surroundings and then touching your mouth or food with unwashed hands.
Up to 30 cases of Salmonellosis are reported in Kitsap each year.
People infected usually become sick one to three days after exposure. Most recover within seven days without treatment. However, some may require medical treatment or hospitalization. Children under 5, adults over 65, and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to get severely sick.
Symptoms can include diarrhea that can be bloody, fever, chills, stomach cramps and occasional vomiting.
To avoid infection and protect your flock, KPHD advises the following:
- Wash your hands with soap and running water after touching backyard poultry or their surroundings (such as cleaning their coops)
- Don’t kiss or snuggle poultry, including newborn chicks
- Don’t eat or drink around poultry
- Keep poultry and the supplies you use to care for them outside your home
- Supervise children around birds; children younger than 5 should not touch birds.
- Separate your flock from wildlife
- Safely handle, cook and store eggs
- If you have symptoms of Salmonella, avoid preparing food, working in a daycare, or using public swimming pools.