ATLANTA (TEGNA) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was investigating a salmonella multi-infection outbreak related to backyard poultry, such as chicks and ducks. Nearly a third of those who are sick are children under five years.
CDC says it already exists 97 cases in 28 countries. Seventeen people have been hospitalized. There is no death.
In interviews with 44 people who were sick, 38 reported contact with chicks and ducks, the CDC said. They report getting animals from farm shops, hatcheries and websites.
The CDC reminds owners of backyard flocks that birds can carry salmonella without showing signs of disease.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching poultry, their eggs, or anything else in the area where they live and roam. Use hand sanitizer if no soap and water are available. Also, do not touch your face or mouth after touching poultry unless you wash your hands first.
Children may be tempted to kiss or curl small chicks and other small birds. The CDC says children under 5 years old shouldn’t even touch them. Children should always be watched around birds and when they wash their hands afterwards.
Other tips from CDC:
- Do not leave backyard poultry inside the house, especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served or stored.
- Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while caring for poultry and store the shoes outside the home.
- Do not eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
- Collect eggs as often as possible. Eggs that sit in the nest can become dirty or broken.
- Discard broken eggs. Germs on the shell can more easily enter the egg even though the shell is broken.
- Eggs with dirt and debris can be carefully cleaned with a fine sandpaper, brush, or cloth.
- Don’t wash warm, fresh eggs because colder water can attract germs into the eggs.
- Cool the eggs after collection to maintain freshness and slow the growth of germs.
- Cook the egg until the yolk and white are firm. Egg dishes must be cooked with an internal temperature of 160 ° F (71 ° C) or hotter. Raw and undercooked eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria which can make you sick.
The CDC says most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps six hours to six days after being exposed to bacteria. The disease usually lasts 4-7 days.
While most people do not need treatment, some may suffer from severe illness and need to be hospitalized. Children under 5 and adults 65 and older are more likely to have severe illness, such as people with weakened immune systems.
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