Have Chickens in Your Backyard? You May Be at Risk for Salmonella
According to an outbreak advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 790 cases of Salmonella linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks across 48 states and the District of Columbia have been reported. Since June 1, more than 418 people have been infected, and 174 have required hospitalization.
The CDC, state agencies, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are currently investigating 10 separate outbreaks of Salmonella infection resulting from contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries. Several strains of bacteria are involved in the outbreak, which began in January.
Live poultry carrying Salmonella bacteria may appear healthy and clean with no sign of illness, according to the CDC. About 74 percent of people involved in this recent outbreak reported contact with live poultry in the week before they became sick. Salmonella infection can cause serious complications in young children, the elderly, and people with chronic health problems. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, chills, and abdominal pain.