CDC warning about new salmonella outbreak linked to backyard poultry

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say one person has died and 86 people nationwide have been hospitalized in the latest outbreak of salmonella connected to pet poultry.

Forty-two states have reported cases this year, including Kentucky where 34 cases have been reported. That’s the most cases reported in any state, according to a graphic on the CDC website from June 23.

Since May 20, 368 people in the U.S. have reported getting sick. That’s twice as many as were reported the same time last year. About a third of those who have gotten sick are children under the age of 5.

Backyard flocks have become an increasingly popular hobby, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

The CDC has released some guidance to take care of those flocks safely.

Wash your hands.

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching backyard poultry, their eggs, or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Adults should supervise handwashing by young children.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.

Be safe around poultry.

  • Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
  • Don’t let backyard poultry inside the house, especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of the house.
  • Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
  • Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry, such as cages and containers for feed or water.

Supervise kids around poultry.

  • Always supervise children around poultry and while they wash their hands afterward.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age shouldn’t handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other poultry. Young children are more likely to get sick from germs like Salmonella.

Handle eggs safely.

  • Collect eggs often. Eggs that sit in the nest can become dirty or break.
  • Throw away cracked eggs. Germs on the shell can more easily enter the egg though a cracked shell.
  • Eggs with dirt and debris can be cleaned carefully with fine sandpaper, a brush, or a cloth.
  • Don’t wash warm, fresh eggs because colder water can pull germs into the egg.
  • Refrigerate eggs after collection to maintain freshness and slow germ growth.
  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm. Egg dishes should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) or hotter. Raw and undercooked eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria that can make you sick.
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