Articles, Blog

Over 1,000 Americans  sickened with Salmonella from backyard birs

October 3, 2019


Backyard chickens, geese and ducks are still making Americans sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday  In fact, 1,003 people in the US have gotten Salmonella poisoning from touching, cuddling, feeding, petting and harvesting eggs from poultry in their back yard  Since July 19, another 235 new cases of bird-borne illness have been confirmed in 49 states, and two people have died – one each in Texas and Ohio  Health officials are begging Americans to keep their birds outdoors, always wash their hands after handling the animals and to not ever kiss or rub your face, mouth and nose in their downy feathers  Since the outbreaks began in January, illnesses have been reported in all but one US state  Of those who have been interviewed by health officials, the majority – 67 percent – said that they had been around baby chicks or ducklings  No matter how adorable and fresh these baby birds may look, they are prime carriers for Salmonella  The bacteria may not make the chickens appear ill, but it can still sicken humans  Salmonella is usually found in feces, which may touch poultry’s feathers and feet, even if in such small amounts that they’re invisible  If humans then touch the birds, and subsequently their mouths, they can easily contract the infection This happens most commonly with children, especially those under five, who are not known for their hand-washing discretion  Nearly a quarter of the people sickened in the current outbreak were children younger than five, according to the CDC  Most of the infections have not been terribly serious, but 175 have led to hospitalizations  Salmonella is the most common cause of the ‘stomach flu’ (which is not the flu at all), causing symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and vomiting   Most who develop the infection have no symptoms, some have mild symptoms that pass on their own within a few days, but occasionally the infection becomes serious   The real culprit of dangerous infections is dehydration, which may be a byproduct of excessive diarrhea omitting  Since January, 175 Americans have been hospitalized after touching chickens, geese or ducks  Only one has died, but health officials are left pleading with people to take the risks their backyard poultry pose seriously  The first rule is to ‘always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching backyard poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam,’ the CDC writes  Furthermore, it’s best to keep your live chickens or other fowl as far from food and beverages as possible  And most importantly, ‘don’t kiss backyard poultry, or snuggle them and then touch your face orr mouth,’ the agency wrote      

1 Comment

  • Reply Satguy 141 September 3, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    CDC estimates Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year.

  • Leave a Reply