Select Page

CDC Investigating New Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry

CDC Investigating New Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry

Embargoed Until: Thursday, May 20, 2021

Contact: Media Relations

(404) 639-3286

A CDC investigation notice regarding multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections has been posted: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/backyardpoultry-05-21/index.html

Key points:

  • 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.

About Salmonella:

  • 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.

###

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon

CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: May 20, 2021