The following is a public service announcement from our friends at the Indiana State Department of Health.
With Easter just around the corner, everyone will be thinking of coloring eggs and baby chicks, but what about the risk of Salmonella infections associated with these activities? Salmonella infections can be transmitted by contaminated food (e.g., eggs, poultry, meat, unpasteurized milk or juice, cheese, contaminated raw fruits and vegetables), water, or contact with infected animals (e.g., live poultry). Since the 1990’s, 45 Salmonella outbreaks, resulting in 1,563 illnesses, have been associated with live poultry exposure. If proper prevention techniques are not taken, popular activities around the Easter holiday could result in an illness that spoils all the fun! Common symptoms of Salmonella infections include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, and abdominal cramps. In some cases, a localized infection can become established (e.g., in a joint) or enter the bloodstream.
The risk of salmonellosis can be greatly reduced by these prevention techniques:
Live Poultry Exposure:
- Wash hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water immediately after touching live poultry or their environment.
- Children under 5 years of age, elderly persons, and people with weakened immune systems should not handle or touch live poultry.
- Keep live poultry away from your mouth and face and away from food or food preparation areas.
- Understand the risks before giving children a baby bird for Easter. Visit http://1.usa.gov/OILzOY.
Coloring Easter Eggs and Easter Egg Hunts:
- Only use refrigerated eggs and discard any cracked or dirty eggs.
- Boil eggs before decorating. Find out how here: http://bit.ly/1ixsrLQ.
- Keep eggs refrigerated inside the refrigerator, and not on the door.
- Hide eggs in places protected from dirt, pets, and other sources of contamination.
- Discard all eggs that were cracked, dirty, or left out for more than 2 hours.
Learn more about the risk of Salmonella infections from live poultry at http://1.usa.gov/1mZapJt or from eggs at http://1.usa.gov/Q90JOu. For questions, please contact Tess Gorden, ISDH Enteric Epidemiologist, at email@example.com or 317-234-2808.
The staff at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital wishes you a safe and happy Easter weekend!