For the Health of It: The increased dangers of Salmonella in spring

CHENANGO COUNTY —Spring is in the air, and people are picking up their live baby poultry to bring home. Raising live poultry such as ducks or chickens is becoming more and more popular. However, these cute little babes can carry Salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella is a germ that effect humans and cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. Potentially, the germ can cause acute to severe illness that may require hospitalization, especially in children under age five, older adults and those who have a weakened immune system or those that are pregnant.

Salmonella may not cause symptoms in birds, so you cannot tell that the poultry may be carrying this germ in their droppings and on their feathers, beaks, and feet. The germs can also be on their cages, in their water dishes, or anything near their living area. Salmonella is spread by putting hands that are soiled and contaminated with feces containing salmonella into our mouths.

To protect yourself and your family from this germ, institute a stringent hand washing policy. As soon as a family member has been near the chickens or any objects that come into contact with their living environment make sure hands are properly washed.

Children should be supervised to make sure they are washing their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If running water and soap are unavailable use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands. Poultry can be fun for the whole family when proper safety measures are followed. Keeping safety in mind, enjoy the little babes and their peeps, quacks, and chirps.

For more information contact the Chenango County Department of Public Health at 337-1660, follow us on Facebook and Twitter: PublicHealth@CheangPubHealth, or visit our website at

—Submitted by the Chenango County Health Department Nursing Division

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