Multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to backyard poultry

195 cases have been reported across 38 states
calendar icon 2 July 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

In a new update on a multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to backyard poultry—first announced in May—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 86 more illnesses and 9 more affected states, raising the national total to 195 cases from 38 states, according to a news report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP).

Initially, outbreak involved five Salmonella serotypes: Altona, Indiana, Infantis, Mbandaka, and Typhimurium. The CDC said two more have been implicated in the illnesses—Cerro and Johannesburg.

Of information based on 136 patients, 50 were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Just over 40% of patients are younger than 5 years old. The latest illness onset is May 30. The CDC warned that the outbreak total is likely much higher and that illnesses probably aren't limited to the states with known cases, given that most people aren't tested and recover without medical care.

Of 45 people with information available, 36 had bought or obtained poultry before they became ill. People got the birds from multiple retail stores and directly from hatcheries.

Samples from shipping boxes matched patient strains

Investigators from Minnesota, Ohio, and Utah collected samples from inside boxes used to ship the poultry from hatcheries to retail stores, which included box liner and bedding. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) found that Salmonella Altona, Cerro, and Mbandaka in the samples matched strains from some of the sick patients.

WGS analysis of 176 patient samples and 13 environmental samples found no predicted resistance, but 14 patient samples had predicted resistance to one or more antibiotics: amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ampicillin, cefoxitin, ceftiofur, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline.

Backyard poultry have been tied to several other Salmonella outbreaks over the past several years. The CDC urged poultry owners to take precautions, such as washing hands with soap and water after touching backyard poultry and supervising children around backyard poultry, especially young ones who are more likely to get sick.

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