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article imageThe Hazards of Easter Chicks - A CDC Warning

By Lisa Angotti     Mar 29, 2007 in Health
They're cute, they're cuddly, and kids love them. But did you know you can get SUPER sick from holding them?
Next time you visit a petting a zoo or your child raises chicks in his classroom, heed the warnings from the Center from Disease Control.
Easter chicks can carry salmonella.
You can purchase baby chicks for as little as $1 at a pet store, and it can be tempting to surprise your little one with a furry friend of their own. Better to opt for a stuffed toy, since at least 81 people in 22 states last year contracted salmonella poisoning from handling chicks.
"This time of year, when everyone's wanting to give their kid a baby chick or baby duckling, that's when we start to see these outbreaks in people not accustomed to handling farm animals," said Charles Hofacre, a University of Georgia professor of veterinary medicine.
Salmonella can make you super poopy... as in diarrhea, fever, and vomitting time. NOT pleasant in the least. The diseases is spread through chicken poo, which can easily transfer from a bird's feet or feathers, even if the birds look completely clean.
As young children often do, they forget to wash after handling the birds or put their hands in their mouths before they have a chance to wash. Contracting salmonella can cause serious risk for children under five, and children that young should not handle chicks at all.
As a long-time bird-owner and someone who has handled snakes, this report doesn't surprise me at all. But I bet most people don't know that holding baby chicks carries health risks.
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