Don’t kiss, snuggle backyard poultry, CDC warns when Salmonella outbreak spreads to 48 states

RALEIGH (WTVD) – Backyard poultry is blamed for a salmonella outbreak that has spread to 48 states, including North Carolina.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the outbreak has infected at least 938 people. So far, 151 of them have had to go to hospital, one person died and 28% of those infected are children under 5 years of age.

38 related infections have been reported in North Carolina.

The outbreak was first identified on July 10, but until July 28, researchers were not sure what was causing the outbreak.

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Now, they say contact with domestic poultry (such as chicks and ducklings) is the likely source of the outbreaks.

According to the CDC, backyard poultry can carry the Salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean and show no signs of disease.

Anyone in contact with backyard poultry should wash their hands religiously. Also, the CDC said you should never kiss or snuggle with chicks and ducklings.

Some other CDC tips include:

  • Do not allow backyard poultry to enter the home, especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.
  • Reserve a pair of shoes to care for poultry and keep those shoes out of the house.
  • Do not eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
  • Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for birds, such as cages and food or water containers.

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Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

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