The CDC Has a New Salmonella Warning for These 8 States
Find out if your home state is one of the affected areas.
As the pandemic surges toward an unsettling fourth wave, all eyes are on COVID case counts—so it's no surprise that smaller-scale public health warnings have flown under the radar lately. On April 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a notice of investigation regarding another health hazard that's recently emerged: a Salmonella outbreak currently affecting eight states coast to coast. Read on to find out which states are affected, and for another breaking health update from the CDC, check out The CDC Says You Should Immediately Do This Once You've Been Vaccinated.
The CDC explains that this particular outbreak is considered zoonotic, meaning the cases have been linked to a common animal origin. The animal causing all the chaos? Wild songbirds known as pine siskins, a member of the finch family with "small, streaked, yellow-tinged" feathers.
A report from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) says that since December, "wildlife rehabilitation centers have been inundated with calls from residents who are finding sick or dead finches at bird feeders." Additionally, "CDFW's Wildlife Investigations Laboratory has evaluated birds from several locations and determined the cause of illness to be Salmonellosis, a disease caused by Salmonella bacteria."
The report further explains that when large groups of pine siskins congregate—especially around human-made bird feeders—they can quickly spread the disease among them. Most infected birds will die within 24 hours of becoming infected with Salmonella but they can transmit their disease to humans, pets, or other bird species during that time, or even after their deaths.
For this reason, the CDC recommends taking certain precautions in the event that you may be exposed to wild birds. They suggest regularly and carefully cleaning any outdoor bird feeders with soap, water, and bleach solution, but emphasize that this should be done away from areas where food is prepared or stored to avoid contamination. Never feed a bird from your hand, they say, and exercise enhanced hand-washing measures if you've been in contact with birds, places where birds congregate, or their feces. Finally, they recommend contacting your medical provider if you present with any symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which include the following, according to the Mayo Clinic: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, or blood in your stool.
Wondering if your state has been affected by the outbreak? Read on to find out which eight states are currently in the hot seat, and for breaking news on another Salmonella outbreak, check out The FDA Just Issued a Salmonella Warning for This Popular Grocery Item.
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And for more must-see news from the CDC, check out The CDC Director Just Got Choked Up Describing COVID's "Impending Doom".