Salmonella outbreak spreading by not washing hands

Seven outbreaks of salmonella linked to backyard poultry flocks have led to 324 cases of illness in 35 states since the start of the year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Three have been documented in Maryland, zero on the Eastern Shore, but the CDC says these outbreaks are expected to rise because flock owners might be unaware of the risk. and the simple, potential solution.

“Most people don’t look at hand washing as being as an important measure as it is, but it by far the number one preventative measure for disease that there is,” said Dennis Dicintio, director of environmental health for the Wicomico County Health Department.

Dicintio said kids are especially vulnerable to contracting salmonella and that it can be as easy as touching a young chicken, then forgetting to wash your hands after.

Once that child has the illness it can spread quickly through a household causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

“Yeah it is shocking, I would think you know washing your hands is just a common sense kind of thing,” said Josh Hale, a Salisbury resident.

Experts said the problem with salmonella is that it’s virtually impossible to tell whether or not the animal you’re dealing with has the bacteria.

“Really animals that have salmonella could like completely normal like they could be completely fine and they could be carrying the bacteria,” said Michael W. Radebaugh state veterinarian for the maryland department of agriculture.

So the fool proof solution, just wash your hands after dealing with any sort of poultry.

Categories: Health, Local News, Maryland