US - The US' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is investigating seven separate outbreaks of Salmonella across multiple states, linked to backyard poultry flocks.
In the seven outbreaks, a total of 324 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from 35 states. Among people with available information, illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2016 to May 11, 2016.
Sixty-six ill people were hospitalised, and one death was reported. Salmonella infection was not considered to be a contributing factor in the reported death.
Eighty-eight (27 per cent) of the ill people were children 5 years of age or younger.
CDC said it is collaborating with public health, veterinary, and agriculture officials in many states, as well as the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), to investigate the outbreaks.
Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings linked the seven outbreaks to contact with live poultry such as chicks and ducklings from multiple hatcheries.
The agency reminded backyard poultry owners to take precautions with their flocks, such as not snuggling of kissing the birds, and washing hands after touching poultry or entering the areas they roam in.
It also asked flock owners not to let live poultry inside the house, and not to allow children under 5 to handle poultry without supervision.
"These outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months since flock owners might be unaware of the risk of Salmonella infection from live poultry or participate in risky behaviors that can result in infection," CDC said.
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