(WFRV) – In the last few years, Wisconsin residents have made a push for cities to begin allowing the raising of chickens right from their backyards. However, a recent salmonella outbreak linking back to homegrown chickens may have residents reconsidering their initial push.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an investigation notice regarding a multistate outbreak of salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry. According to the notice, from February 12 to April 25, a total of 163 people have reported being ill from 43 states, including Wisconsin. Those affected are reported to range in ages from less than 1 to 87 years old.
Several Midwestern states have been impacted by this outbreak as the CDC reports that the states of Wisconsin and Michigan each have reported a total of four people having salmonella infections. Illinois reported a total of three individuals being ill, whereas Iowa has 11 individuals facing illnesses due to contact with backyard poultry.
Officials predict that the number of sick people due to backyard poultry contact is likely much higher than the reported number stating that many people recover from a salmonella infection without needing medical attention.
The CDC stresses that backyard poultry, like chicken and ducks, can carry Salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean, and these germs can easily spread to anything in the areas where they live and roam.
A few steps residents can take to stay healthy around their backyard poultry include:
- Washing your hands for 20 seconds after touching the flock or flock supplies.
- Keeping flock and flock supplies outside the house to prevent spreading germs into your house.
- Not letting children younger than 5 years of age touch the birds, including chicks and ducklings, or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.
- Don’t kiss or snuggle the birds, as this can spread germs to your mouth and make you sick.
Officials are encouraging anyone to call their healthcare provider if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
- Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving
- Bloody diarrhea
- Excessive vomiting
- Decrease in urination
- Dry mouth and throat
- Feeling dizzy when standing up