Just about everyone loves chicken, but that tasty yardbird can be dangerous if it's not handled properly. The CDC is currently looking into 400 cases of Salmonella around the country and several of those cases are right here in Louisiana. Now, don't go to the fridge and throw out that Tyson chicken. it seems that most of the outbreaks are caused by the handling of what are known as "backyard" chickens.

It turns out that, in most of the reported cases, the victims had been handling live chickens prior to being stricken with the ailment. Now, I have to admit that I thought you could only get salmonella from eating chicken, but this city kid learned that you can get salmonella by handling live chickens. I'm not real sure how often that comes up in your life, but it's something to be aware of.

The CDC says that most of the victims are children and they offer some great information and safety tips to avoid being stricken by the ailment.

The first symptoms usually occur with 12 to 72 hours after after being infected. The symptoms include gastroenteritis which is a nice way of saying vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. For the majority of cases, the infection can last for about a week, but in some cases it can last much longer and that's when you need to see a doctor. While salmonella is rarely treated with antibiotics, in really severe cases patients may be treated with IV's and antibiotics.

Experts warn to have your children avoid coming in contact with the live birds as kids tend to want to baby the chickens thereby increasing their chances of infection. While the current outbreak is mainly from handling live chickens, keep in mind that it is during the summer that ERs all over the nation see an uptick in food-borne salmonella as well as other food-borne illnesses.

Suddenly I'm afraid of chickens.

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