November 5, 2020

Backyard Poultry Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 938 in 48 States

The backyard poultry Salmonella outbreak has now sickened at least 938 people in 48 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One hundred fifty-one people are hospitalized because they are so sick. One person who lived in Oklahoma has died. That is an increase of 473 more cases since the last update in late June 2020.

Backyard Poultry Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 938 in 48 States

The case count by state is: Alabama (16), Alaska (2), Arizona (23), Arkansas (20), California (35), Colorado (28), Connecticut (11), Delaware (1), Florida (24), Georgia (38), Idaho (6), Illinois (34), Indiana (22), Iowa (16), Kansas (17), Kentucky (57), Louisiana (1), Maine (9), Maryland (17), Massachusetts (21), Michigan (35), Minnesota (15), Mississippi (13), Missouri (28), Montana (16), Nebraska (19), Nevada (4), New Hampshire (10), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (13), New York (38), North Carolina (38), North Dakota (7), Ohio (29), Oklahoma (10), Oregon (20), Pennsylvania (37), South Carolina (28), South Dakota (16), Tennessee (43), Texas (23), Utah (13), Vermont (6), Virginia (29), Washington (19), West Virginia (3), Wisconsin (17), and Wyoming (6). The illness onset dates range from January 14, 2020 to July 14, 2020.

The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 94 years. It must be noted that 28% of ill persons are children under the age of 5. Of 461 people who provided information about their conditions, 151, or 33% have been hospitalized. That is a high hospitalization rate for Salmonella outbreaks, which is typically around 20%.

It’s important to remember that Salmonella outbreaks are greatly undercounted. Officials use a multiplier of 29 to estimate the actual number who are sick. That means there could be more than 27,000 Americans sick in this outbreak.

If you own a backyard flock, be aware that these birds are often carriers of Salmonella bacteria. They can be infected even if they look healthy and clean. It’s important to constantly supervise children around chicks, ducklings, and chickens and ducks. Make sure they do not kiss the birds or snuggle them. Always wash your hands and your children’s hands with soap and water after being around these birds. And don’t let backyard poultry into the house, especially where you prepare food and drink or eat.

The bacteria responsible for most of these infections is resistant to one or more of these antibiotics: amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (1.4%), ampicillin (4.0%), cefoxitin (1.4%), ceftriaxone (1.4%), chloramphenicol (0.8%), ciprofloxacin (0.1%), fosfomycin (2.8%), gentamicin (1.2%), kanamycin (0.4%), streptomycin (63.4%), sulfisoxazole (4.4%), tetracycline (63.5%), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (2.6%). There was no antibiotic resistance predicted for 249 (29.4%) isolates.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection can include a fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal and stomach cramps, muscle aches, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Symptoms usually begin 6 to 72 hours after infection. Most people recover on their own with no medical treatment in about a week. But long term health complications, including reactive arthritis, high blood pressure, and endocarditis can occur after someone has completely recovered.

 

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