News Department

CDC: Salmonella outbreak linked to backyard poultry exceeds 1,000 cases

Over 1,000 cases of salmonella have been reported this year in outbreaks spanning 49 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday, and the agency believes that backyard poultry is the likely source.

A total of 1,003 cases of illness have been reported in the outbreaks so far, and 175 people have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported, one from Texas and one from Ohio.

New Jersey has seen 10 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella.

Most of those infected reported contact with backyard poultry such as chicks or ducklings from hatcheries, agricultural stores and websites.

Six of the outbreak strains making people sick have been identified in samples collected from backyard poultry environments at people’s homes in California, Minnesota and Ohio and from poultry environments at retail stores in Michigan and Oregon.

The illnesses started on dates from January 1, 2019, to August 9, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 99 years and of 850 ill people with age information available, 192 are children younger than 5 years.

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

Advice to Backyard Flock Owners

  • Follow these 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 an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol 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 aged 65 and older, 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.

Symptoms of Salmonella Infection

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours 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 needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
  • People more likely to get a serious illness are children younger than 5, adults aged 65 and older, and people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
  • For more information, see the CDC Salmonella website.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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