Salmonella Outbreak hits Montana - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Salmonella Outbreak hits Montana

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GREAT FALLS -

An outbreak of salmonella sweeping the nation, Montana is no exception. The state has had 14 cases of the disease this year. Cascade, Gallatin, Glacier, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Mineral, Missoula, Powder River, Ravalli, Roosevelt and Yellowstone counties all reporting cases of the disease. There have been 8 outbreaks and more than 370 cases of salmonella in 47 states, so the CDC is now issuing a warning for everyone who comes in contact with chickens.

Salmonella is an infection from bacteria most commonly found in poultry. The infection can cause fever, severe cramps, and diarrhea. In most cases, the illness will clear up in a few days but severe reactions can occur in children, older people, and those with weak immune systems. Most of those infected during the outbreak said they became sick after coming in contact with live chickens. Since it's the time of the year people begin buying young chicks and ducklings, cases are on the rise. But poultry owners say the chance of infection is low if you take care of yourself. Aaron Pursell of Great Falls Urban Chickens says it’s all about keeping yourself clean. "Just generally keeping your hands clean, and the environment that they live in clean.” He says. “And not having them in your house. And not having their food or any of that stuff in your house. And making sure that your shoes are clean, stuff like that. Just general cleanliness."

The Cascade County Health Department also passed along a few tips to remember. The department says in addition to washing your hands after touching the animals, avoid touching your mouth after animal contact. Also make sure not to eat or drink around the birds. Don't let them in your house. Always supervise children around poultry and don't cuddle or kiss the birds.

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