While springtime in Montana might bring much needed sun, it also brings an increase in diarrheal illnesses. State of Montana Epidemiologist Dana Fejes says people should be cautious around cute and cuddly newborn animals.

"These animals have organisms that are around them, that you find in their animal environment where they live." Said Fejes. " And when you come into contact with them, and we touch them, and are around them, its possible that we could pick those organisms up and they make us humans sick."

Fejes says a variety of disease can be contracted from animals and incidents spike in spring.

"We see more Campylobacter cases reported during springtime, especially during camping season." Said Fejes. "In salmonella, we see that a lot associated with poultry, live poultry, like little chicks, and also reptiles, so we see more of those being reported. On average we see about 100 salmonella cases in Montana during any given year. And the majority of them will be reported during the spring and summer times."

The Montana Department of Health and Human services is advising the public to take a very simple precaution when handling animals this spring: Wash your hands afterward.


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