OLYMPIA, WA -The Department of Health confirmed today that 16 people have been diagnosed with Salmonella after coming in contact with live poultry.
The people infected are from Chelan, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King (2), Kitsap, Kittitas, Lewis, Mason, Pierce (2), Snohomish, Yakima (2), and Whatcom counties.
Five people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Seven of the 16 are children younger than five.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its outbreak advisory, reporting 372 cases nationwide in 47 states, on Thursday.
People reported obtaining live baby poultry, e.g., chicks and ducklings from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and relatives.
Chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry that look healthy and clean can carry Salmonella bacteria, which is contagious and can cause serious illness.
Children under five, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems are most likely to get sick from Salmonella and should avoid handling live poultry.
People who own chicks and ducklings should take steps to protect themselves. Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching live poultry or anything in the area where birds live and roam.