(KION) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is a salmonella outbreak linked to wild songbirds in several states, including California.
There have been a total of 19 illnesses reported in eight states. Three of the cases are in California, but the CDC did not say where specifically in the state the cases are located. Eight people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
The CDC says birds can carry salmonella while appearing healthy, but there are reports of wild songbirds sick with the same strain of salmonella that is making people sick.
The agency shared these tips for avoiding salmonella:
- Clean and disinfect bird feeders and bird baths every week or when they appear dirty.
- Keep pets away from bird feeders, bird baths and the areas under them.
- If you find a sick or dead bird in your yard, remove feeders and baths for two weeks and clean them outdoors.
- Do not touch or hand-feed birds with bare hands.
- Wash hands with soap and water after touching the feeder or bath, after handling a bird, after touching your pet or their supplies, after picking up animal feces and before you eat or drink.
Severe symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea for more than three days, bloody diarrhea, a fever higher than 102 degrees, so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and signs of dehydration. The CDC says anyone experiencing these symptoms should call a health care provider immediately.