The people affected were not consuming chickens but handling baby chicks. Salmonellosis is the most common disease transmitted from pets to humans and is associated with a large number of pets, including aquatic turtles, tortoises, snakes, frogs, fish, baby chicks and ducklings. In addition dogs, cats, horses and farm animals can also transmit Salmonella.
Similar outbreaks related to baby poultry occurred in 2006 and in one case 70% of the infections were in children.
CLUCK has advocated basic precautions such as hand-washing and keeping small children, the elderly and anyone with a supressed immune system from direct interaction with chickens. For general recommendations from the CDC regarding kids and a variety of pets, click here.
To review the CDC's investigation of the outbreak and recommended precautions, click here. The CDC report ends with the following admonition: Do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.
For previous CLUCK postings about health and Salmonella, click here and here.
CDC: Advice to Consumers
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house, such as cages or feed or water containers.
- Do not let children younger than 5 years of age, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.
- Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, or outdoor patios.
- Do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.