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Germ alert: Steer clear of flatbed chicken trucks

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  • CyberBrook
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081125/ap_on_he_me/med_chicken_bacteria;_ylt=AtyxeluaYr4C_.t8Zz2lZ0.s0NUE Germ alert: Steer clear of flatbed chicken trucks By
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081125/ap_on_he_me/med_chicken_bacteria;_ylt=AtyxeluaYr4C_.t8Zz2lZ0.s0NUE


      Germ alert: Steer clear of flatbed chicken trucks

      By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe, Ap Medical Writer --
      Tue Nov 25, 5:30 pm ET

      ATLANTA -- You've heard about the chicken that crossed the road. But
      have you heard the one about the chickens traveling down the road? It's
      no laughing matter. Crates of chickens being trucked along the highway
      in the back of an open truck can shoot a bunch of nasty bacteria into
      the cars behind them, researchers have found.

      Drivers stuck behind such a truck should "pass them quickly," advised
      study co-author Ana Rule, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University.

      Even so, it's not clear that germy debris will make you sick. None of
      the scientists who studied this problem got sick. And the
      disease-causing bacteria in question are normally spread by food or
      water, not air.

      Rule and her colleagues at the Bloomberg School of Public Health focused
      on the so-called Delmarva Peninsula, a coastal area that includes parts
      of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The region is a chicken mecca, with
      one of the highest concentrations of broiler chickens per acre in the
      nation.

      The researchers chose a 17-mile stretch of highway connecting chicken
      farms in Maryland to a processing plant to the south in Accomac, Va.
      They rode in four-door cars with all the windows down and the air
      conditioning off.

      They checked the cars for bacteria after driving when there were no
      chicken trucks around. And they checked for bacteria after 10 trips
      behind flatbed trucks carrying crates of broiler chickens.

      They collected bacteria from air samples, door handles and soda cans
      inside the car.

      In all the truck chases, they found high levels of certain bacteria,
      including some that are resistant to antibiotics.

      The study, released this week, is being published in the first issue of
      the Journal of Infection and Public Health, and it's billed as the first
      to look at whether poultry trucking exposes people to
      antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

      It was a casual conversation that inspired the effort.

      "Somebody said, 'I went to the beach the other day and I got stuck
      behind a chicken truck, and boy, is that nasty,'" Rule said.

      She said studies to determine if chicken trucks can make you sick are
      somewhere down the road.

      Dr. Keith Klugman, an Emory University epidemiologist who was not
      involved in the research, said getting sick that way is unlikely. Most
      healthy people don't suffer serious illness from these bacteria even
      when exposed in more conventional ways.

      "It was kind of an unnatural experiment, in that people were driving
      behind these trucks with the windows open and the air conditioning off
      --- for 17 miles," he added. "If you were driving behind a truck that
      was spewing stuff out the back of it, the first thing you would probably
      do is close your windows."

      __

      On the Net:

      Journal of Infection and Public Health:
      http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jiph
      <http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_he_me/storytext/med_chicken_bacteria/30016990/SIG=115o8sdru;_ylt=AlcIgtwRXGbN.XFMnsKNRata24cA/*http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jiph>




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