By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry, 368 additional cases were reported in the past month, bringing the total to 465 ill people reported from 42 states.

86 people (36% of those with information available) have been hospitalized. One death in Oklahoma has been reported. The CDC reports about one-third of the ill people are children younger than 5 years.

Almost twice as many Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry have been reported this year as compared to this time last year.

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

CDC offers the following tips to prevent illness:

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching chickens, ducks, or anything in their environment.
  • Don’t let children younger than 5 years touch live poultry. Young kids are more likely to get a severe Salmonella infection.
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of your birds and keep them outside of your home. Do not wear them inside your house.
  • Don’t let live poultry inside the house. This is especially important in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, including kitchens and outdoor patios.
  • Don’t kiss or snuggle backyard poultry.

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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.