Multistate Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks, 2017

CDC, June 1, 2017 –

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Outbreak Advisory

  • CDC, many state departments of health and agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are investigating eight multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.
    • These outbreaks are caused by several kinds of Salmonella bacteria: Salmonella Braenderup, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Hadar, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i-, Salmonella Indiana, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Mbandaka, and Salmonella Typhimurium.

  • As of May 25, 2017, 372 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 47 states.
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017 to May 13, 2017.
    • 71 ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
    • 36% of ill people are children younger than 5 years.
  • Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link the eight outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from several hatcheries.
    • In interviews, 190 (83%) of 228 ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before illness started.
    • People reported purchasing live baby poultry from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.
  • Contact with live poultry and the areas where they live and roam can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry that look healthy and clean can still carry Salmonella

Outbreaks linked to contact with live poultry have increased in recent years as more people keep backyard flocks. In 2016, a record number of illnesses were linked to contact with backyard poultry.

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