AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo health officials are reminding families to be careful Easter weekend as Salmonella cases tend to rise during this time.
When Salmonella cases happen, Amarillo health officials work to pinpoint where the bacteria came from.
Many times it comes from undercooked poultry but in the last year, there have been more reported cases due to children cuddling with live chicks.
"They are cute, furry little chicks and we just want to pick them up and we want to kiss them and hug them but the reality is, there's Salmonella in their feces and it gets on their skin," said Shaun May, City of Amarillo Environmental Health Director. "When young kids handle these chicks, it can be transferred when they put their fingers in their mouth or when they touch things."
According to health officials, animals and people can carry Salmonella without showing any signs but can still transfer the illness.
One way to keep the bacteria away, is to always wash your hands after visiting petting zoos or handling chicks.
Director May also suggests handling poultry or eggs with care and follow proper cooking instructions.
"For a young child or an elderly person, they can end up in the hospital and even healthy adults can end up in the hospital depending on their susceptibility," said May.
For those who do catch Salmonella, symptoms often mimic those of the flu or food poisoning.
It can be dangerous for children and the elderly as they can easily become dehydrated.
If you suspect someone has the bacteria, the city encourages a visit to the physician to keep the community safer and so the city can more accurately document the outbreaks.