Stay Off The Birds: Live Poultry Linked To Salmonella Outbreak in 35 US States

By Arvin Matthew, Parent Herald June 06, 06:14 am

Americans living near live poultry should take extra precautions as multiple salmonella outbreaks have been reported across the United States. The large-scale epidemic has now affected 35 states and has sickened at least 324 individuals. Among those infected, 66 have been hospitalized while one has been reported dead.

Alarming Statistics

In a memo posted this week on its official government website, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 88 percent of those infected by the illnesses are children aged 5 and younger. Starting from January 4 to May 11, the agency has identified 7 different strains of the bacteria which have caused 7 major salmonella outbreaks across the US.

New York and Michigan, who both have 34 reported cases, have the highest salmonella infection rates among all the affected states. North Carolina has 26 reported cases while South Carolina, Florida and Alabama reported outbreak cases between 7 and 10.

According to 11 Alive, Georgia's astute background in poultry farming could be the reason why it has one of the lowest infection rates among the affected states. Rounding out the last placers are Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi and Oregon. All 4 states have only one reported salmonella case apiece.

Friendly Reminders

The CDC linked the outbreaks to direct contact with live poultry, including chicks, ducks and several other hatcheries. They warned that all live poultry, no matter how clean and healthy they look, can still carry salmonella.

People living near live poultry are advised to wash their hands with soap and water immediately after being in contact with the birds. Live poultry should also not be allowed to roam inside the house. In addition, parents should prevent their kids from handling chicks, ducklings, or other hatcheries without their supervision.

The CDC expects the salmonella outbreaks to go on for several more months. This is because some Americans may still be oblivious to the link between live poultry and the salmonella outbreaks.

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