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  • Posted May 28, 2024

CDC Warns Again of Salmonella Tied to Backyard Poultry

Backyard chickens are causing outbreaks of salmonella across the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.

About 109 people in 29 states have gotten sick from salmonella after touching or caring for backyard poultry, the CDC said in a health advisory.

Of those, 33 people have been hospitalized, the CDC said. No deaths have been reported. More than 2 in 5 people affected by the outbreak are children younger than 5, the agency added.

Backyard poultry can carry salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean, the CDC noted. The germs can easily spread to anything in areas where poultry live and roam.

People can get sick from touching either backyard poultry or anything in their environment if they then touch their mouth or food and swallow salmonella germs.

People infected with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, with symptoms usually starting six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria.

Most people recover from salmonella without treatment within a week, the CDC said.

However, some people can experience more severe illness that will require medical treatment or hospitalization. The most vulnerable include young children, seniors ages 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems.

The CDC recommended that people wash their hands immediately after touching backyard poultry, their eggs or anything in the area where they live and roam.

Don't kiss or snuggle backyard chickens, and don't eat or drink anything around them, the CDC said.

Parents and caregivers should supervise children around flocks, since they are more likely to become very ill from salmonella.

And be sure to handle eggs carefully. Collect them often, throw away cracked eggs and be sure to rub off any dirt on eggs using a brush, cloth or fine sandpaper. Don't wash eggs, because colder water can pull germs into the egg, the CDC says.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about recent salmonella outbreaks.

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, May 23, 2024

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