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Salmonella alert issued by health agency


COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The health department in Coldwater has put out an advisory concerning Salmonella after the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency received reports this month of Salmonella cases that have been possibly linked to the handling of live baby chicks.

Officials say that often, live baby poultry may be put on display at stores where children may be able to touch the birds and while they are soft and cute, many people do not realize the potential danger they can carry, especially for children. Live poultry may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies even when they appear healthy and clean. While it usually doesn't make the birds sick, Salmonella can cause serious illness when it is passed to people.

Salmonella germs can cause diarrhea that can be mild, severe, or even life threatening. Infants, seniors, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. Some simple steps will help protect yourself and others from getting sick like washing hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house. And never bring live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.

For more information about Salmonella, visit the health department’s web page at www.bhsj.org and click on the Frequently Asked Questions button.