Friday, June 2, 2017

Backyard Chicken Flocks Result in Numerous Salmonella Outbreaks

CDC reports that since the beginning of this year, there have been 8 Salmonella outbreaks related to backyard chickens. Within that, there have been 372 people infected and 71 of those cases resulting in hospitalization.

Poultry is a risk for Salmonella as well as Campylobacter.  People with backyard flocks, they are apt to treat the birds more as pets than farm animals, and with that, forget the need for proper personal hygiene including proper washing of hands, changing of clothes that are poop stained, and even removing shoes after stepping in bird dropping.  And even further, people increase the risk when they allow the birds to come inside their house or they snuggle with the birds.

CDC Zoontotic Diseases - Outbreak Advisory
Multistate Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks, 2017
Outbreaks - 8
Cases - 372
States - 47
Hospitalizations - 71

  • CDC, many state departments of health and agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are investigating eight multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks. 
    • These outbreaks are caused by several kinds of Salmonella bacteria: Salmonella Braenderup, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Hadar, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i-, Salmonella Indiana, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Mbandaka, and Salmonella Typhimurium.
  • As of May 25, 2017, 372 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 47 states. 
  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017 to May 13, 2017.
    • 71 ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
    • 36% of ill people are children younger than 5 years.
  • Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link the eight outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from several hatcheries. 
    • In interviews, 190 (83%) of 228 ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before illness started.
    • People reported purchasing live baby poultry from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.
  • Contact with live poultry and the areas where they live and roam can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry that look healthy and clean can still carry Salmonella bacteria.
  • Outbreaks( linked to contact with live poultry have increased in recent years as more people keep backyard flocks. In 2016(, a record number of illnesses were linked to contact with backyard poultry.

Tips to Stay Healthy with a Backyard Flock

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry.
Do not let children younger than 5 years handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without adult supervision.

Read more( about ways to stay healthy with backyard flocks. Read live poultry Q&A(

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