June 3, 2020

Backyard Poultry Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 97 in 28 States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a report about a backyard poultry Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 97 people in 28 states. This is not the first such outbreak; many of these outbreaks have been identified in the past few years. One of the issues is that Salmonella bacteria can be naturally present in chickens, even inside hen’s ovaries, which then produce contaminated eggs. The pathogen is Salmonella Hadar.

Backyard Poultry Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 97 in 28 States

Seventeen people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. And 30% of ill persons are children younger than five. Epidemiologic evidence shows that contact with backyard poultry such as chicks and ducklings is the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, 38, or 86% of 44 ill persons interviewed, said they had contact with chicks and ducklings before they got sick. Those animals were obtained from agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries.

The case count by state is: Alabama (4), Arizona (3), California (9), Florida (2), Georgia (5), Idaho (1), Illinois (5), Indiana (2), Kentucky (9), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (4), Montana (6), Nebraska (3), New Mexico (2), North Carolina (2), Ohio (1), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (1), South Carolina (6), Tennessee (6), Texas (1), Utah (5), Virginia (6), Wisconsin (1), and Wyoming (3). Illness onset dates range from February 26, 2020 to May 1, 2020. The patient age range is from less than one year to 87 years.

Whole genome sequencing showed that the pathogen is resistant to one or more of these antibiotics: amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (4%), ampicillin (4%), cefoxitin (4%), ceftriaxone (4%), gentamicin (4%), streptomycin (100%), sulfamethoxazole (4%), and tetracycline (100%). That means that these infections will be more difficult to treat and may trigger more serious. illness.

Anyone can be sickened with a Salmonella infection simply by touching backyard poultry or anything in their environment. Birds can carry the pathogen even if they look healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.

Always wash your hands carefully with soap and water after touching poultry, their eggs, or anything in the areas where they live. Adults should watch children who are around live birds and prevent them from kissing or snuggling the birds. And supervise handwashing by young children. Children under the age of 5 should not handle or touch chicks.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Anyone who has backyard. poultry and has been experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor. They may be part of this backyard poultry Salmonella outbreak.

 

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