CDC Issues Warning on Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Backyard Poultry

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Thursday that public health officials are investigating multi-state outbreaks of salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry.

The CDC reported that 109 individuals across 29 states have fallen ill after handling or caring for backyard poultry, including chickens and ducks. Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma have the highest number of reported cases.

Although no fatalities have occurred, 33 people have been hospitalized due to the infections. The CDC noted that the actual number of affected individuals is likely much higher, as many recover without seeking medical attention and thus are not tested for salmonella.

Alarmingly, 43% of those infected are children under the age of five, who are at greater risk for severe illness that may require medical treatment or hospitalization. Typical symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

The CDC advised thorough handwashing with soap and water immediately after handling backyard poultry, their eggs, or anything in their living areas. Additionally, the CDC recommended that retailers selling backyard poultry should clean and sanitize display areas and source birds from hatcheries that implement measures to reduce salmonella contamination.