October 15, 2019

23-State Salmonella Outbreak from Backyard Poultry Flocks

A 23-state Salmonella outbreak linked to backyard poultry flocks has sickened 60 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 40 percent of those sickened were children 10 and under. At least 10 people were hospitalized.

Health investigators have linked this outbreak of Salmonella Infantis and Salmonella Newport infections to contact with live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, the same mail order hatchery linked to live poultry Salmonella outbreaks in 2013 and 2012.

live-poultry-salmonella-2014Symptoms of Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, include fever, cramping, vomiting and diarrhea that can sometimes be bloody. For those sickened in this outbreak, onset of illness ranged from February 4 to April 21.  Those sickened  range in age from younger than one year to 95 years old,  the median age is 29 years.

Many who are part of this outbreak said they brought the chicks and ducks into their homes. Some reported kissing or cuddling them. According to the CDC, people should avoid these behaviors as they increase the risk of salmonellosis.

When maintaining backyard poultry flocks, it’s important to keep the birds and everything used to care for them outside. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after handling the birds. Children under five should not be allowed to handle the birds, older children should only be allowed to do so with supervision.

By state, the number of those sickened is as follows: Alabama (1), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (2), Georgia (2), Idaho (2), Indiana (1), Kentucky (6), Maine (1), Maryland (2), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (1), New York (6), North Carolina (3), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (3), Utah (1), Vermont (3), Virginia (3), Washington (1), and West Virginia (4).

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