324 people are infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella from 35 states including Wisconsin, according to the Jefferson County Health Department.
Salmonella can make people sick with diarrhea, vomiting, fever and abdominal cramps.
Officials tell TODAY’S TMJ4 that there are at least five confirmed cases in Wisconsin and that number will likely grow.
When asked how the infection is spread, an official replied, “if you’re in the chicken coop with the poop.”
Contact with live poultry and their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Live poultry can be carrying Salmonella bacteria, but appear healthy, clean, and show no signs of illness, officials said.
Local, state and federal officials are investigating seven separate multi-state outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.
“These outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months since flock owners might be unaware of the risk of Salmonella infection from live poultry or participate in risky behaviors that can result in infection,” Jefferson County health officials said in a written statement.
The following steps can be taken to protect people who are in contact with backyard poultry:
Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Also wash hands after handling clothes and shoes that have touched live poultry. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until one is able to wash their hands with soap and water.
Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios. Do not eat or drink in the area where the birds live or roam.
If a person suspects they or their children may have Salmonella infection, they should contact their health care provider immediately. For more information, click here.