US CDC believes that string of Salmonella infections is linked to backyard poultry

The CDC is investigating multi-state outbreaks of Salmonella, saying that the infections could be linked with backyard poultry.
calendar icon 21 May 2021
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The CDC recently posted an investigation notice regarding outbreaks of Salmonella. In a statement issued on 20 May, the agency said that public health officials in several states are investigating multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry. Thus far, there have been 163 people reported ill from 43 states and 34 people were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Interviews with sick people show that contact with backyard poultry is the likely source of the outbreaks.

The true number of sick people is likely much higher than the reported number, as many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. About one-third of sick people are young children under 5 years.

The CDC warns that backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs even if the birds look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread in areas where they live and roam. The organization cautions that whether you are building your first coop or are a seasoned backyard poultry owner, know the risks of keeping poultry and the simple things you can do to stay healthy.

Steps to stay healthy around backyard poultry:

  • Always wash your hands for 20 seconds after touching the flock or flock supplies.
  • Keep flock and flock supplies outside the house to prevent spreading germs into your house.
  • Don’t let children younger than 5 years touch the birds (including chicks and ducklings) or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.
  • Don’t kiss or snuggle the birds, as this can spread germs to your mouth and make you sick.

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