CDC Investigating New Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry
Embargoed Until: Thursday, May 20, 2021
Contact: Media Relations
A CDC investigation notice regarding multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections has been posted: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/backyardpoultry-05-21/index.html
- CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry.
- There have been 163 people reported ill from 43 states.
- 34 people were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
- The true number of sick people is likely much higher than the reported number, as many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.
- One-third of sick people are young children under 5 years.
- Interviews with sick people show that contact with backyard poultry is the likely source of the outbreaks.
- Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread in areas where they live and roam.
- Whether you are building your first coop or are a seasoned backyard poultry owner, know the risks of keeping poultry and the simple things you can do to stay healthy.
Steps to stay healthy around backyard poultry:
- Always wash your hands for 20 seconds after touching the flock or flock supplies.
- Keep flock and flock supplies outside the house to prevent spreading germs into your house.
- Don’t let children younger than 5 years touch the birds (including chicks and ducklings) or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.
- Don’t kiss or snuggle the birds, as this can spread germs to your mouth and make you sick.
- Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days 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 is hospitalized.
- Children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.
If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.
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Page last reviewed: May 20, 2021