There are many people out there who keep birds as pets, mainly because they are incredibly cute whilst they are easy to take care of.
There are even shops and websites that can provide you with the best domestic fowl that you can take at home, nurture and love instead of getting a dog that might chew your shoes.
However, those people who would not hesitate to buy a small chick or a duck to raise it as his or her pet should know that these lovely birds are not completely harmless to human health.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns these people that they might face the risk of catching salmonella if they can’t keep their hands off their poultry and like to hug them and kiss them.
Salmonella is a dangerous bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family which can cause very severe food poisoning. The symptoms are the ones common in food poisoning and include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever.
While a regular adult with a decent immune system would normally recover from it even without getting any particular treatment, older people, people who suffer from chronic diseases, children or babies are more exposed. This is why it is better to prevent getting it in our system and protect ourselves from its unpleasant effects.
Because there is currently a salmonella outbreak in about 35 states and so far there have been 200 cases of infection reported, the authorities are trying to get to the root of the problem in order to advise people how to steer clear of the bacteria.
One of the ways to do that is to avoid touching and staying in contact with live chickens. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed a bunch of people who had caught salmonella and many of them admitted to having been in contact with such birds.
While the poultry might not show any signs of illness, the people who get salmonella will become sick soon after that.
This does not necessarily mean that we should stop raising poultry in our backyard altogether. The best thing we can do is take some preventive measures. We should not allow our children stay in contact with the birds, we should have a special place for them to live in and avoid having them wander about our home at all costs. Moreover, we should always make sure we wash our hands after we’ve been close to them.
Raw food is also dangerous and could be infected with salmonella, so we should make sure we clean and cook it properly before we consume it. Other risk food includes spoilt or raw eggs and milk.
It is important to remember that this bacterium is the cause behind 15,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths in America every year.
Image Source: theweeklyobserver