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Cute Baby Poultry Could Make You Sick

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Spring is the time of year when people purchase baby poultry. Maybe they are replacing older birds. Sometimes they become gifts in an Easter basket. Health authorities have some precautions.

Chicks and ducklings are fuzzy and cute. But, many of them carry a bacteria that is dangerous--particularly to young children.

Dr. Emilio DeBess is Oregon's Public Health Veterinarian. He says between the months of March and May his office sees increased cases of Salmonella which are directly attributed to poultry.

DeBess: "People handle them and the bacteria which lives in the fecal matter stays on their hands, they don't wash their hands properly or don't wash their hands at all. And there is a fecal oral transmission. Meaning your hands go into your mouth and then you get exposed and infected."

DeBess reminds folks to keep yard birds outside, don't give chicks to children under five and never nuzzle or kiss them. And, of course, wash your hands!

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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