SANTA FE, N.M., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- New Mexico officials remind the public not to keep live baby poultry in homes due to the risk of salmonella, which recently infected 316 people in 37 states.
Health officials in New Mexico linked this salmonella outbreak to
contact with chicks, ducklings and other live baby poultry purchased from multiple feed stores.
"Salmonella can be present in the droppings of chicks and other baby birds, even though the animals themselves usually won't show signs of illness," Paul Ettestad, a veterinarian with the New Mexico Department of Health, said in a statement.
The Department of Health recommends people young and old take the following preventive measures to prevent salmonella:
-- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching live baby birds or anything in the area where they live and roam. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available and your hands are not visibly soiled.
-- Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
-- Don't snuggle or kiss baby birds.
-- Don't touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live baby poultry.
-- Don't let baby birds inside the house or in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, dining rooms, pantries and outdoor patios
-- Don't clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry such as cages, feed and water containers in the house.
-- Do not let children age 5 or younger old touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.
-- Visit your physician if you experience abdominal pain, fever and/or diarrhea.