Don't kiss, snuggle backyard poultry, CDC warns as Salmonella outbreak spreads to 48 states

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Backyard poultry is being blamed for an outbreak of salmonella that has spread to 48 states, including North Carolina.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the outbreak has infected at least 938 people. So far 151 of those had to go to the hospital, one person died, and 28% of those infected are children younger than 5 years of age.


There have been 38 related infections reported in North Carolina.

The outbreak was first identified on July 10, but until July 28 investigators were not sure what was causing the outbreak.

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Now, they say contact with backyard poultry (such as chicks and ducklings) is the likely source of the outbreaks.

According to the CDC, backyard poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.

Anyone in contact with backyard poultry should religiously wash their hands. Plus, the CDC said you should never kiss or snuggle the chicks and ducklings.


Some other tips from the CDC include:

  • 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.


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Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment.
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