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Chicken salmonella cases reported: Source is a farm supply store in Jackson County

The Lawrence County, Scioto and Portsmouth health departments are reporting that a number of people in Lawrence and Scioto counties have gotten salmonella from live chicks bought at a farm supply store in Jackson County.

Regional epidemiologist Molly Davis is investigating the case and said that four people in Lawrence County and one person in Scioto County got salmonella and their cases have been linked to chicks purchased at a store in Jackson County. She said the name of the store is not being released yet since it is a different county and its health department hasn’t released any information yet.

Davis said the best way to not get salmonella if you purchase live poultry is the simple method of washing your hands with soap and water after touching the animals.

“Any children under the age of five, or any child not able to understand the risk and wash their hands immediately afterward, should not be around the poultry at all,” she said. “But the biggest thing is that anyone who has handled live poultry should wash their hands immediately. It is the best thing you can do to prevent getting salmonella.”

Davis stressed that a person should not handle the chicks and then cook food or get a drink of water without hand washing.

“You could contaminate the food you’re cooking and it can contaminate water,” she said.

Salmonella is a gastro-intestinal illness caused by the salmonella bacteria that usually enters the body by the mouth. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever and sometimes, vomiting lasting 2-7 days. It is acquired through contact with animals or by ingesting contaminated food or water.

Symptoms usually develop 12–36 hours after infection. It can be transmitted to other people for up to two weeks after infection.

If you think you may have gotten salmonella from live poultry, you can contact Davis at 740-354-8931.