Cases in Salmonella outbreak linked to pet chicks, ducklings exceeds 1,000; slight rise in La. cases

Cases in Salmonella outbreak linked to pet chicks, ducklings exceeds 1,000; slight rise in La. cases
The number of Salmonella cases linked to backyard poultry in Louisiana has slightly risen from 2 cases to 6 cases between June and August, states a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Across the nation, the number of cases linked to the outbreak now exceeds 1,000.

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The number of Salmonella cases linked to backyard poultry in Louisiana has slightly risen from 2 cases to 6 cases between June and August, states a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Across the nation, the number of cases linked to the outbreak now exceeds 1,000.

A CDC report released June 13, stated 279 cases had been reported across 41 states.

On July 23, the CDC announced an additional 489 ill people have been added to the investigation, totaling 768 ill people reported from 48 states, including 122 people who had been hospitalized from the infection. Two deaths were reported; one in Ohio and one in Texas.

A report released August 30 says a total of 1003 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 49 states. Of 850 ill people with age information available, 192 (23%) are children younger than 5 years.

Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean and show no signs of illness, so remembering the following tips can be helpful:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching backyard poultry 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
  • 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
  • Children younger than 5, adults over 65, and people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness shouldn’t handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other poultry
  • Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam
  • Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth
  • Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry, such as cages, or feed or water containers
  • Check for handwashing stations or hand sanitizer next to poultry display areas and wash hands right after leaving these areas

It is also helpful to remember the following symptoms of Salmonella infection:

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment
  • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body
  • In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics
  • People more likely to get a serious illness are children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65 years, and people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness

Hedgehogs were among the other pets linked to Salmonella outbreaks in 2019. Louisiana health officials are also battling an outbreak of Hepatitis A which has exceeded 500 cases as of August 30.

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