Salmonella outbreak in Queensland linked to backyard poultry

Queensland Health has issued an urgent warning after a spate of Salmonella infections have been traced to backyard chickens.
calendar icon 2 July 2020
clock icon 3 minute read

According to reporting in the Daily Mail, the Queensland Health Board has identified 17 cases of Salmonella since 26 June. 13 of the cases are in children under 11.

The state health board said that handling baby chicks, “purchased in the two-week period prior to their illness” led to the outbreak.

Dr Alun Richard, acting executive director of Queensland Health’s Communicable Diseases Branch said, “these chicks have been obtained from a range of produce and pet stores in Queensland.

“Backyard poultry can harbour and shed Salmonella that cause illness in humans, even if the birds are healthy and clean.

“The investigation into the supplier of the chicks is currently ongoing.”

The health authority has issued public health advice to prevent the spread of the disease.

The health authority advises:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and running water immediately after touching backyard poultry, their eggs, their enclosures, or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Adults should always supervise children around poultry and ensure they wash their hands afterwards.
  • Do not let children snuggle or kiss the birds, touch their mouth, or eat or drink around poultry.
  • Do not let poultry inside the house.

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