You do not need to have us to inform you that backyard chickens have become an urban (and suburban) obsession.
But here’s what you may not know: The Centers for Disease Handle and Prevention has documented a record higher quantity of salmonella infections linked to these domestic flocks.
“This year saw the biggest quantity of illnesses linked to get in touch with with backyard poultry ever recorded,” the CDC writes in an investigation update.
So far this year, 895 folks from 48 states have gotten sick, and 209 folks have been hospitalized. In Mississippi, a salmonella infection linked to backyard poultry was determined to be the result in of death of one particular individual.
It’s no surprise that chickens can harbor bacteria that can make us sick. “It’s frequent for chickens, ducks and other poultry to carry Salmonella, a type of germ that naturally lives in the intestines,” explains the CDC.
A couple of years back, we reported on a 2012 salmonella outbreak that sickened 195 men and women, most of whom had been in contact with live chickens. In that outbreak, numerous of those sickened had purchased chickens from a mail-order hatchery in Ohio.
So, the best defense against an infection? Wash your hands after any speak to with a chicken or “something in the area where they live and roam,” urges the CDC.
This year, about 30 percent of the documented infections have been in tiny kids, 5 years or younger. The CDC says young children are “a lot a lot more likely to get sick from contact with chicken and other reside poultry,” so the recommendation is that kids beneath 5 should not manage or touch the birds. Some backyard chickens enthusiasts have pushed back against this tips.
So what else can you do to defend your self? Don’t kiss your chickens! As my colleague Jason Beaubien reported this summer, it’s effortless to start off thinking of your backyard chickens as family pets. But you might be greater off making some private boundaries. “We do not recommend snuggling or kissing the birds, ” the CDC’s Megin Nichols told Beaubien.
I realize the appeal of backyard chickens, particularly offered the gift they maintain giving with fresh-laid eggs. And baby chicks — with their bright yellow fluff — are adorable. Earlier this spring, we brought a few residence from a local farm on a temporary loan, and my daughter — who named them Rosie and Sweet Pea — bonded with them right away.
We did wash hands, thoroughly, right after every single play session, and no one got sick.