By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials in several states report investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, in backyard flocks.

Officials say a total of 97 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar from 28 states. 17 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

About 1/3 of the cases were in children younger than 5 years of age.

Epidemiologic evidence shows that contact with backyard poultry (such as chicks and ducklings) is the likely source of this outbreak.

People can get sick from Salmonella from touching live poultry or their environment. Birds carrying the bacteria can appear healthy and clean.

Spring and summer are always popular times for people to purchase chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry. As people tend to their new flocks, increases in Salmonella infections linked to live poultry are usually reported.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient is hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other parts of the body.

Children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.