Record number of Salmonella infections in US linked to backyard chickens

This year, the CDC reports 895 people — 209 of which were hospitalized — contracted Salmonella infections from backyard flocks of poultry like chickens, ducks and geese. It was the "largest number of illnesses linked to contact with backyard poultry ever recorded," according to the agency.

The 895 cases stem from eight multistate outbreaks of Salmonella, all linked to backyard birds, in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico.

To avoid Salmonella infections, the CDC recommends taking the following steps:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching live poultry
  • Don't let backyard birds into the house
  • Do not let children under 5 years old handle live poultry without adult supervision

Salmonella infection symptoms in humans include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people can recover without treatment, but severe infections may require hospitalization.

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