Multistate salmonella outbreaks linked to backyard birds

Backyard chickens. (Photo/Media General)
Backyard chickens. (Photo/Media General)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MEDIA GENERAL) – As backyard chickens become more and more common, the Centers for Disease Control is warning people about salmonella infection problems.

The CDC has investigated four multistate outbreaks of human salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry.

In the four outbreaks, 181 people have been infected in 40 states as of June 29, 2015.

No deaths have been reported. 33 people have been hospitalized. To see exact numbers for each state, click here.

In interviews with the people infected, the CDC reports 86% of the 95 people interviewed reported contact with live poultry (chickens, ducks, ducklings) before getting sick.

Sixty-four sick people reported buying live baby poultry for backyard flocks to produce eggs or meat or keep as pets.

Many ill people reported bringing the animals into their homes, kissing or cuddling with the animals.

The CDC says these behaviors increase the risk of salmonella.

Backyard flock owners, should take steps to protect themselves and their families:

• Always wash hands with soap and water after touching live poultry
• Do not let live poultry inside the house
• Review these additional recommendations from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellapoultry/index.html

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