Updated: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 3:03 AM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 3:03 AM MDT
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials are warning families giving baby chicks and other small birds as Easter gifts to avoid possible Salmonella infection.
The New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Livestock Board issued a warning Tuesday and sent out a list of recommendations as a precaution.
Officials say New Mexico has had 19 human cases of Salmonella related to baby chicks and ducklings in the last seven years.
Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward says Salmonella is often present in the droppings of chicks and other baby birds.
Early symptoms of Salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Officials recommend that residents wash hands thoroughly after touching baby birds and not snuggle with them.