By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The number of Salmonella cases linked to contact with poultry in backyard flocks has risen by 489 cases in the past month, bringing the outbreak total to 768 from 48 states (only Alaska and Delaware have not reported a case).


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five additional types of Salmonella were added to this investigation, which increased the number of cases associated with the outbreak.

122 (29%) people have been hospitalized and two deaths have been reported, one from Texas and one from Ohio. One quarter of the cases are in children five year of age and younger.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with backyard poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries are the likely source of these outbreaks.

People reported getting chicks and ducklings from several sources, including agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries.

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CDC notes they usually see an increase in Salmonella infection linked to live poultry in the spring and summer when more people are purchasing chicks, ducklings and other live poultry. Since 2000, more than 75 outbreaks of Salmonella infections have been linked to contact with backyard poultry.

The largest number of Salmonella illnesses linked to backyard poultry in outbreaks occurred in 2017, when 1,120 people got sick and one person died.

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They also offer the following tips to stay healthy with your backyard flock:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching backyard poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
    • Adults should supervise handwashing by young children.
    • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Don’t let backyard poultry inside the house, especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of the house.
  • Children younger than 5, adults over 65, and people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness shouldn’t handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other poultry.
  • Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
  • Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
  • Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry, such as cages, or feed or water containers.