May 17, 2019 — Backyard flocks of live poultry have been linked with salmonella outbreaks that have sickened 52 people in 21 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
Five people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. Children younger than 5 account for about one-fourth of the cases of illness.
People who got sick reported getting chicks and ducklings from places such as agricultural stores, websites and hatcheries. People can get sick from salmonella by touching live poultry or their environment. Birds that carry the bacteria can appear healthy and clean, the CDC said.
You should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not immediately available.
Never let live poultry in your home, the agency said. Have a pair of shoes that you use only when taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of your home.
Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam. Don’t kiss backyard poultry, or touch your face or mouth after handling them. Cleaning equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry, such as cages, or feed or water containers, should be done outdoors.
Children younger than 5, adults over 65 and people with weakened immune systems shouldn’t handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other poultry.