July 1, 2015 – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that with the assistance of public health officials from multiple states, they are investigating four Salmonella outbreaks linked to contact with live poultry. As of June 29, 2015, a total of 181 laboratory confirmed cases of salmonellosis across 40 states have been linked to the four outbreaks. Thirty-three of the outbreak victims required hospitalization as a result of their illness.
Public health interviews with 95 of the outbreak victims revealed that 82 (86%) of those sickened had contact with live poultry during the week before coming ill. Those sickened also reported that they had purchased the poultry for backyard flocks for meat and egg production, or to keep as pets.
In the wake of these outbreaks, the CDC reminds the public and poultry handlers of the steps that can be taken to prevent Salmonella infections:
“Backyard flock owners should take steps to protect themselves and their families:
• 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.
• Learn about additional recommendations to prevent Salmonella infections from live poultry. These recommendations are important and apply to all live poultry, regardless of the age of the birds or where they were purchased.
Mail-order hatcheries, agricultural feed stores, and others that sell or display chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry should provide health-related information to owners and potential purchasers of these birds prior to the point of purchase. This should include information about the risk of acquiring a Salmonella infection from contact with live poultry.
The CDC also reports that live baby poultry from the homes of those sickened, were obtained from multiple hatcheries; and that these investigations are ongoing.