Salmonella, Chlamydiosis Infections Linked to Pasco Flea Market
Animals recently purchased from the Pasco Flea Market have led to reports of salmonella and Avian Chlamydiosis.
The Benton Franklin Health District reported the cases linked to the Pasco staple located on Lewis St. Two people contracted Salmonella Poona and lab results linked it to a national outbreak that has been associated with small turtles.
One of the turtle purchased from the Flea Market was less than 4 inches in length. It is, and has been since 1975, illegal to buy a turtle that small in the United States, due to the increased chance of getting salmonella. Any turtle can carry salmonella and the disease can cause severe illness, especially in children.
To go along with the salmonella outbreak associated with the turtle, a cockatiel that was purchased at the flea market tested positive for avian chlamydiosis or "Parrot Fever". Sound familiar? Didn't think so...avian chlamydiosis is a bacterial disease that can cause something not pleasant in people called psittacosis, which could lead to pneumonia. Thus far, no human cases of psittacosis linked to the bird have been reported.
BFHD strongly advises if you purchased birds from the Pasco Flea Market and if your bird appears sick, to seek a veterinarian about your bird’s health and mention it may have been exposed to avian chlamydiosis. The disease affects cockatiels, parakeets, parrots, macaws, and other parrot-like birds. People contract psittacosis most commonly by inhaling dust from cage litter and dried droppings.
How Do I Protect Myself From Catching These Diseases?
If you are considering buying a turtle BFHD recommends following these guidelines:
- Do not buy turtles with a shell less than four inches in length.
- Wash your hands well after handling turtles or anything in their environments.
- Do not wash their cages or equipment in the kitchen sink, or anywhere near food preparation areas.
- Do not nuzzle or kiss your pet turtle.
- Use precaution if you have high-risk household members. Consider picking a different pet if there is someone in your household who is under five years of age, over 65 years of age, or has a weakened immune system
If you have purchased a bird recently from the Pasco Flea Market, BFHD has these recommendations along with contacting your vet if your bird appears sick:
- Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling birds, their toys, cages, habitats, or other equipment.
- Use water and disinfectant, like household bleach, to wet surfaces before cleaning bird cages orthose contaminated with bird droppings. Don't dry clean to prevent circulating feathers and dust.
- Safely clean your pet bird’s cages and equipment while wearing gloves and a well-fitting mask. Don’t clean equipment or materials in the kitchen sink.
- Prevent contact between birds and people who are under five years of age, over 65 years of age, or who are immunosuppressed.
- Monitor your health. Symptoms of psittacosis include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a dry cough. More severely, pneumonia can occur. If you get any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider and let them know of your bird contact.
More information on the situation, and guidance from BFHD, click here.
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