(NEXSTAR) – Backyard poultry are to blame for a Salmonella outbreak that’s sickened 163 across 43 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
Thirty-four people have been hospitalized.
“You can get sick from touching your backyard poultry or anything in their environment and then touching your mouth or food, and swallowing Salmonella germs,” the CDC said.
The CDC offered a series of tips for staying safe around backyard poultry, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water after handling backyard poultry or touching their eggs or anything in the area where they live and roam
- Don’t kiss or snuggle backyard poultry, or eat and drink around them
- Keep the items you use to care for your flock outside of the house
- Supervise children around backyard poultry and ensure they wash their hands after handling them
- Never let children under age 5 touch backyard poultry as young children are more likely to be sickened by Salmonella
- Handle eggs safely by throwing away cracked eggs, collecting eggs often, rubbing off dirt with a brush or cloth and cooking eggs until both the yolk and white are firm
The CDC said you should call your health care provider immediately if you have any of these symptoms:
- Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
- Bloody diarrhea
- Vomiting so much you can’t keep liquids down