February 19, 2020

Salmonella from Backyard Poultry Flocks Sickens 251 in 37 States

Salmonella from live poultry kept in backyard flocks has sickened 251 people in 37 states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  That’s an increase of 125 cases since the last update on May 30, 2014. Fifty four people have been hospitalized.

Baby chicks

Health officials have linked the outbreak to chicks, ducklings and other live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio through epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations. This is the same mail-order hatchery that has been associated with multiple outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to live poultry in past years, including in 2012 and 2013.

Onset of illness for those who became ill, who range in age from less than one year to 95 years, were from February 4 and June 4. Thirty-nine percent of those sickened are 10 or younger.

To keep kids safe while maintaining backyard flocks, the CDC recommends: that live poultry or any of the items used to care for the birds never be brought into the house;  that those caring for flocks wash hands thoroughly after handling or feeding the birds;  that children not cuddle or kiss the birds; that children 5 and up are supervised during contact with the birds and during hand washing; and that children under five not have contact with the animals.

The illnesses have been reported from the following states:  Alabama (6),  Arizona (1), Arkansas (3), California (3), Colorado (4), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Georgia (13), Idaho (2), Illinois (5), Iowa (2), Indiana (4), Kansas (1), Kentucky (11), Maine (9), Maryland (3), Michigan (1), Mississippi (2), Montana (3),  New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (2), New York (27), North Carolina (27), Ohio (21),  Pennsylvania (25), South Carolina (5), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (14), Texas (2), Utah (1), Vermont (6), Virginia (17), Washington (7), West Virginia (14) Wisconsin (1), and Wyoming (1).

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