Backyard Poultry Linked to Salmonella Outbreaks

Eight separate multi-state salmonella outbreaks linked to live poultry in backyard flocks are being investigated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal, state and local agencies.

Between Jan. 4 and May 13, 2017, there were 372 cases reported in 47 states. Seventy-one people have been hospitalized, but there have been no deaths. Thirty-six percent of patients have been children.

These outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months, according to the CDC.

As the trend of raising backyard poultry such as chickens and ducks grows in the U.S., more people are getting salmonella infections from these birds, the CDC said.

From 1990 to 2016, 65 outbreaks of human salmonella infections were linked to contact with live poultry. Investigations in 2016 involved a record number (895) of illnesses linked to live poultry.

Any live poultry can carry salmonella bacteria, even if they look healthy and clean, so it's important to take precautions when handling and caring for birds, the CDC said.

If you keep backyard poultry: wash hands after handling live poultry; do not allow live chickens, ducks, and geese in the house; do not allow children younger than 5 years to handle or touch live poultry and eggs without supervision; do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.

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