CDC says Salmonella infection in 8 states could be linked to wild songbirds

The infection has spread to eight states, including California, Tennessee and New Hampshire, with eight people requiring hospitalization. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The agency cites interviews with sick people and laboratory tests showing contact with wild songbirds and bird feeders.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reports being “drowned” with calls about birds looking for sick or dead finches, especially in or around the state’s central coast and in the San Francisco Bay area.

One species in particular, the Pine Siskins, is the subject of most of those calls in the state.

These birds, marked by yellow streaks on their tail feathers, can accumulate and quickly spread salmonellosis, causing a large number of species to die within 24 hours, the department says.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says pine siskins can be found in the U.S., as well as parts of Mexico and Canada.

Birds can contract salmonella when they eat birdseed that is contaminated with the feces of other birds, often on the ground beneath a bird feeder.

The agency says birds always carry bacteria such as Salmonella and the germs can spread from birds to pets and people.

In humans, Salmonella disease can include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, lasting four to seven days, and most people can recover without treatment, the CDC says. In some severe cases, hospitalization is required.

The CDC recommends that people wash their hands even if they are wearing a bird feeder, bird bath or immediately wearing gloves. It is advisable to clean the bird feeder outside your home whenever possible.

And the ub duban society recommends washing the bird feeder with soapy water before immersing it in the bleach-v solution. Monthly cleaning of bird feeders can save feeders from shelter disease. It can also help spread or shovel feces or birdseed kings shingles scattered under a bird feeder. Society says.