There are huge zoonotic implications with Salmonella spp. in herd workers and especially visitors with little prior exposure to cattle populations.

“In a case herd we had, one of the owners reported a gastrointestinal illness shortly after clinical signs in the cattle commenced,” says Russ Daly, DVM, Dipl. ACVPM, who serves as South Dakota’s State Public Health Veterinarian. “That person recovered without treatment or a doctor’s visit, but others might not be so lucky.”

The most significant zoonotic risk occurs when working with sick animals. “We have to consider that animal’s manure and oral fluids to be infectious for us, in addition to other animals,” Daly says.

“Common-sense procedures such as dedicated clothes and boots for working with sick calves, disposable gloves, simple hand washing, refraining from eating, drinking or smoking while working all should be considered.

Take care not to bring Salmonella spp. into the house if you can help it. Be careful in regard to tracking it in on boots or leaving dirty coveralls around for other people to come in contact with, especially young kids or elderly. Resist that temptation to bring that sick calf into the entryway, or worse yet, the kitchen!”

Read more about Salmonella in beef cattle in Bovine Veterinarian here.