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‘Don’t kiss live poultry,’ state warns after 4 new salmonella cases

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State health officials say four cases of salmonella that were confirmed this week are part of a multistate outbreak linked to contact with backyard poultry.

The new cases bring the total in Washington state this year to 20, with eight resulting in people being hospitalized.

The Centers for Disease Control said this week that more than 1,100 people were sickened nationwide this year as part of the outbreaks. More than 200 people were hospitalized and two people died, according to the CDC.

The four recent cases in Washington were in Clallam, Island, Stevens and Spokane counties, the State Department of Health said Friday.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and stomach pain. Health officials say people start to experience those about one to three days after being exposed.

The state department of health provided the following guidelines for handling backyard poultry:

  • Always wash hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Even healthy-looking chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys can carry Salmonella bacteria.
  • Don’t snuggle or kiss live poultry or allow them in family living spaces.
  • Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
  • Adults should supervise young children when handling live poultry.
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