State health officer warns of salmonella infection in backyard flocks
Physician and state health officer for the Department of Health, Katy Lofy, MD, warned against salmonella infections in chickens and other live poultry. Springtime is the most common time of year when people become infected because they handle baby chicks and ducklings and don’t follow with good hand washing. Young children are at particular risk. In 2013, 19 people contracted salmonella in Washington, 13 of whom were under the age of ten. More than 500 illnesses due to salmonella infection were reported nationally last year, thought to be related to the popularity of raising backyard poultry. Salmonella infection can cause fever, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. Severe cases may require hospitalization and can also result in death.