Salmonella outbreaks, largely affecting kids under 5, linked to backyard chickens, ducks, CDC says

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More than 200 cases of salmonella infection across the U.S. have been linked to contact with backyard chickens, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report this week.

The CDC report said 212 cases of salmonella broke out in 44 states and prompted 34 hospitalizations.

Children younger than 5 years old made up 26 percent of the people reported sick from the bacteria, the CDC reported.

Children younger than 5 years old made up 26 percent of the people reported sick from the bacteria, the CDC reported.

Over 70 percent of people reported sick said they came into contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness began, according to the CDC.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR PERDUE - Attendees of the 3rd Annual Perdue Farms Animal Care Summit toured the Perdue Research Farm on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Westover, Md. where Perdue is studying ways to continue improving the care of their animals and develop industry-leading best practices. (Matt Roth/Perdue via AP Images)

Attendees of the 3rd Annual Perdue Farms Animal Care Summit toured the Perdue Research Farm on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Westover, Md.

 (Perdue via AP)

People reported obtaining the live poultry from feed supply stores, hatcheries and relatives.

No deaths were reported.

“It’s important to keep in mind all poultry have these microbes and carry these germs as part of the normal flora in their systems,”  Dr. Dora Mills, a former director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, told the Bangor Daily News. “So always remember to wash your hands after hugging a chicken.”

“It’s important to keep in mind all poultry have these microbes and carry these germs as part of the normal flora in their systems. So always remember to wash your hands after hugging a chicken.”

– Dr. Dora Mills, former director, Maine Center for Disease Control

Rinder Myers is known as the local “chicken doctor” and expert in the Tulsa, Okla., area, KTUL-TV reported. She told the station that the risks of backyard chickens were “quite minimal,” adding that it was a greater risk with factory farms, where chickens are often crammed together.

“Lack of sunlight, lack of ventilation, a lack of cleanliness, those are huge risk factors for salmonella, and you have those in the factory settings,” Myers said.

The CDC estimated that salmonella causes about 450 deaths every year.

Most people infected with the bacteria develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

For some people the diarrhea could be so severe that they need to be hospitalized.

Each year, salmonella causes about 23,000 hospitalizations, the CDC said.

Seventy salmonella outbreaks have been linked to backyard poultry since 2000, the CDC reported.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.



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