Washington salmonella outbreak linked to backyard poultry

Thirteen sickened in Washington state, more than 100 nationwide
calendar icon 5 June 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

Washington State Department of Health is working with local and federal public health partners to investigate 13 cases of Salmonella linked to backyard poultry, according to a press release from the government body. 

Cases have been reported in eight counties. This is part of nationwide outbreak that has sickened 104 people in 31 states. In Washington, four people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can be found in poultry manure which can make people sick. Backyard poultry, like chickens and ducks, can carry Salmonella even if they look healthy and clean. The bacteria can easily spread to cages, coops, hay, plants, and soil in the area where they live. You can get sick from Salmonella by touching your mouth or food with unwashed hands.

“If you have a backyard flock, take steps to protect yourself and your family from Salmonella infection,” said Washington State chief science officer Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett. “Always wash your hands with soap and water after you've touched poultry, or soil or objects they’ve had contact with.”

People infected with Salmonella usually become sick one to three days after exposure. Symptoms include diarrhea that can be bloody, fever, chills, stomach cramps, and occasionally vomiting. Most people recover within four to seven days without treatment. However, some people may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalisation. 

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