TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHEN TENDING TO BACKYARD FLOCKS TO AVOID GETTING SICK
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 372 people have been infected with Salmonella linked to a multi-state outbreak.
- Eleven cases were among Colorado residents, one of which was associated with Mesa County.
- Thirty-six percent of cases were identified in children younger than five years old.
- Eight of the outbreaks are linked to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings and more than half of those affected overall reported coming into contact with live poultry in the week before the illness started.
- Chicks, ducklings and other live poultry can carry Salmonella in their droppings and on their bodies (feathers, feet and beaks), even when they appear to be healthy and clean.
- Many Mesa County residents keep backyard flocks and should take precautions to avoid getting sick. Even organically fed poultry can have 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.
- Persons with Salmonella infection may develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 – 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 – 7 days.
- Mesa County Public Health investigates cases of Salmonella in the county to identify possible sources of exposure and to prevent others from getting sick.
AVOID GETTING SICK WITH GIARDASIS
- A Mesa County resident became sick with giardiasis, caused by the parasite Giardia, after drinking water in Dominguez Canyon that had been run through a personal filtration system.
- You can get sick with giardiasis by:
- Swallowing the parasite picked up from surfaces, such as bathroom handles, changing tables, diaper pails or toys containing feces from an infected person or animal.
- Drinking water from sources where the parasite may live such as untreated or improperly treated water from lakes, streams, irrigation water or wells.
- Swallowing water while swimming or playing in water where the parasite may live, especially in lakes, rivers, springs, ponds and streams.
- Eating uncooked food containing the parasite.
- Having contact with someone who is ill with giardiasis.
- Traveling to countries where giardiasis is common.
- Symptoms include diarrhea, gas, greasy stool that can float, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach or nausea and dehydration.
- Contact your health care provider if you feel ill one to three weeks after drinking or spending time in recreational water.
- If left untreated, giardiasis can last up to six weeks or longer.
- Prevent infection:
- Practice good hygiene and hand washing.
- Avoid water (drinking or recreational) that may be contaminated.
- If a lake is designated for boating only, and no swimming, it could be infected with parasites or bacteria. Follow the guidelines.
- Mesa County Public Health investigates cases of giardiasis in the county to identify possible sources of exposure and to prevent others from getting sick.
For more information, visit health.mesacounty.us and mesacountyhealth.com.