FIVE children have been hospitalised after a salmonella outbreak linked to the handling of backyard poultry.
As of June 26, a total of 17 cases had been reported across the state, prompting an urgent warning from the health department.
A large majority of people who had fallen ill reported handling chicks that had been bought from a range of produce and pet stores in Queensland two-weeks earlier.
Of the 17 salmonella cases reported last week, 13 were children under the age of 11.
Queensland Health acting executive director in communicable diseases prevention Dr Alun Richards said children younger than five, adults over 65 and those with weakened immune systems could develop a more severe illness.
"Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps six to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria," he said.
"The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment."
Queensland Health are urging adults to supervise children while around poultry.
They should not kiss or snuggle with birds, or eat and drink around them, and poultry should stay outside the house.
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