CDC continues to say no: Should you kiss chicks – 2016 edition

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, multiple states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are investigating seven separate multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

baby-chick-325pxIn the seven outbreaks, a total of 324 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from 35 states.

Among people with available information, illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2016 to May 11, 2016.

Sixty-six ill people were hospitalized, and one death was reported. Salmonella infection was not considered to be a contributing factor in the reported death.

Eighty-eight (27%) ill people were children 5 years of age or younger.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings linked the seven outbreaks to contact with live poultry such as chicks and ducklings from multiple hatcheries.

Regardless of where they were purchased, all live poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria, even if they look healthy and clean.

These outbreaks are a reminder to follow steps to enjoy your backyard flocks and keep your family healthy.

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.

Do not let live poultry inside the house.

Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without supervision.

These outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months since flock owners might be unaware of the risk of Salmonella infection from live poultry or participate in risky behaviors that can result in infection.

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