URGENT: Qld Salmonella outbreak
QUEENSLAND health has released an urgent message after an outbreak of Salmonella infections from backyard chickens.
From June 26, there have been 17 new cases of the disease, with 13 of those children aged 11 years or younger.
The disease can cause diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps 6-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
It usually lasts from 4-7 days but can be more dangerous to children under the age of five, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems.
Dr Alun Richards, acting executive director of the Communicable Diseases Branch, says the majority of cases have come from "handling chicks purchased in the two-week period prior to their illness."
"These chicks have been obtained from a range of produce and pet stores in Queensland," Dr Richards said.
"Backyard poultry can harbour and shed Salmonella that cause illness in humans, even though the birds are healthy and clean."
The investigation into the supplier of chicks is currently ongoing.
HOW TO AVOID GETTING SICK
Dr Richards says the following measures should be taken to ensure the public stays safe from Salmonella.
•Always wash your hands with soap and running water immediately after touching backyard poultry, their eggs, their enclosures, or anything in the area where they live and roam.
•Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not readily available.
•Adults should always supervise children around poultry and ensure they wash their hands afterwards.
•Do not let children snuggle or kiss the birds, touch their mouth, or eat or drink around poultry.
•Do not let poultry inside the house.
Originally published as URGENT: Qld Salmonella outbreak