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Could my child get a Salmonella infection from live baby poultry?

Often, live baby poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, may be put on display at stores where children may be able to touch the birds or areas where they are displayed. Because these birds are so soft and cute, many people do not realize the potential danger that live baby poultry can be, especially to children. Each spring, some children become infected with Salmonella, but it is important to remember that illness can occur from these baby birds or adult birds at any time of the year.

Live baby poultry can carry Salmonella and not appear sick, but can spread the germs to people. Children can be exposed to Salmonella by holding, cuddling, or kissing the birds and by touching things where the bird lives, such as cages or feed and water bowls. Young children are especially at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.