CDC warns of Salmonella outbreaks linked to backyard poultry flocks

Media Alert

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 23, 2024
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286  

A CDC investigation notice regarding outbreaks of Salmonella infections has been posted:

Key Points:

  • 109 people from 29 states have gotten sick from Salmonella after touching or caring for backyard poultry. 33 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.
  • In this outbreak, 43% of the people infected with Salmonella are under 5 years old.
  • Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to anything in the areas where the poultry live and roam.
  • You can get sick from touching your backyard poultry or anything in their environment and then touching your mouth or food and swallowing Salmonella

What You Should Do:

  • Wash your hands immediately after touching backyard poultry, their eggs, or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Supervise kids around flocks. Young children are more likely to become very ill from Salmonella.
  • Don’t kiss or snuggle backyard poultry, and don’t eat or drink around them. This can spread Salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick.
  • Handle eggs safely.
  • Call you healthcare provider right away if you are experiencing any severe symptoms of Salmonella.

What Stores Selling Backyard Poultry Should Do:

  • Source poultry from hatcheries that take steps to reduce Salmonella
  • Clean and sanitize poultry display areas between shipments of new poultry.
  • This informational poster describes ways to stay healthy with backyard flocks. Place it right beside flock display areas, and hand it out to customers.

What Backyard Poultry Hatcheries Should Do:

  • Use best management practices to help prevent Salmonella in poultry.
  • Participate in the voluntary USDA-NPIP U.S. Salmonella Monitored Program and certify that your flocks are monitored for Salmonella germs.
  • Provide health information to owners and potential buyers of poultry before purchase.

Salmonella Symptoms:

  • Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
    • Symptoms usually start 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria.
    • Most people recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days.
  • Some people—especially children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems—may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.
  • For more information about Salmonella, see the Salmonella Questions and Answers page.

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.

Thank you,

CDC News Media Branch


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