The data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) registered a wave of Salmonella infections related to live poultry.
Some 324 people from 35 states fell sick during seven different outbreaks. Experts concluded that the outbreaks originated from human contact with live poultry including ducklings and chicks from several hatcheries. One of the outbreaks started in January when 66 people fell sick.
One death was reported, but CDC officials stated that Salmonella was not the cause of the death. Other similar Salmonella outbreaks led to 252 infected people in 43 states whereas in 2014 three strains of Salmonella caused 363 infections in Puerto Rico and 43 states.
The highest number of cases was registered in Pennsylvania (20), Kentucky (21), North Carolina (26), Ohio (33), New York (34) and Michigan (34). PulseNet, the U.S. subtyping database, is used by public health officials to determine whether other illnesses are also responsible for the outbreaks.
Plus, some 88 children (5 years old or younger) represent 27% of the total number of sick people.
After interviewing 238 infected people, public health officials learned that 217 of them (91%) had had contact with poultry one week before they fell sick. Most of them purchased live baby poultry from different suppliers, such as friends in multiple states, hatcheries, co-ops and feed stores.
The reasons why the birds were bought were to serve as pets, for egg production or as a learning material for agriculture. CDC urged people to avoid contact with live poultry and with their environments because of the risk of Salmonella infection. Even if the birds seem to be healthy, they can carry the bacteria on their bodies or in their droppings.
Furthermore, the agency underlined that children are most vulnerable to Salmonella if they are exposed to birds by kissing, touching or holding them and by touching items from the poultry’s environment, such as water bowls, feed, and cages.
Moreover, the CDC prompts people always to wash hands very well with water and soap after working with live poultry or anything from their environment. In addition to this, adults must supervise children while they are washing their hands.
Furthermore, feed store and hatcheries were urged by the CDC to inform and protect consumers so that future Salmonella infections will be avoided.
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