MESA COUNTY, Colo.-- Mesa County health officials are warning live poultry owners to tend backyard flocks carefully after a multi-state Salmonella outbreak infected at least three people in Colorado.
According to the Mesa County Health Department, more than 300 people have been infected in the outbreak, which they said stems from live poultry in backyard flocks. Three of the cases originated in Colorado.
Officials said organically fed poultry can have Salmonella.
Chicks, ducklings and other live poultry can carry Salmonella in their droppings and on their bodies, officials said, even when they appear to be healthy and clean.
Persons with Salmonella infection may develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, the health department said.
The Mesa County Health Department recommends these steps to avoid Salmonella
Children younger than five years, adults older than 65 and people with weakened immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other live poultry.
Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.
Do not let live poultry inside the house and do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.