Salmonella cases have been reported in Pueblo County, according to the Pueblo City-County Health Department. They say the Salmonella cases are related to live poultry and baby chick contact.
“It is recommended individuals wash their hands after contact with animals,” said Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, Public Health Director at the Pueblo City-County Health Department.
Salmonella carried in the intestines of chicks and ducklings contaminates their environment and the entire surface of the animal. Children can be exposed to the bacteria by simply holding, cuddling, or kissing the birds.
Parents should be careful when children handle baby chicks and other young birds, Nevin-Woods said, and make sure they wash their hands thoroughly after any contact.
Salmonella is usually spread to humans by eating foods contaminated with feces. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal. Contaminated foods are usually of animal origin, such as beef, poultry, milk, or eggs, but any food, including vegetables, may become contaminated.
Thorough cooking kills Salmonella. Food may also become contaminated by the hands of an infected food worker who did not wash hands with soap after using the bathroom.
Hands should be washed before :
- Eating or handling food and between handling different food items
- After using the bathroom
- Changing a diaper
- Playing with a pet or handling farm animals/birds
Be careful when cooking and preparing food. Follow these tips:
- People should not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat.
- Poultry and meat, including hamburgers, should be well-cooked, not pink in the middle.
- Do not consume raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products.
- Produce should be thoroughly washed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within 12–72 hours after exposure most persons with Salmonella develop
- Abdominal cramps
Infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample. People with Salmonella infections usually improve in 5-7 days and often do not require treatment other than drinking plenty of liquids. Infants and young children are more susceptible to develop complications, especially if Salmonella goes untreated.
For more information, you can contact the Pueblo City-County Health Department at 583-4331.