Currently, eight Salmonella outbreaks are under investigation by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The announcement was published on the CDC’s official website on July 19 and says that since June 2, 2016, another outbreak was identified, and 287 more people have Salmonella.

The spread of the disease was traced to the contact of humans with live poultry such as chicks and ducklings and the CDC urge people to wash their hands every time they are in touch with this type of animal or any product that comes from them, like eggs. The CDC defines an outbreak when 2 or more people get sick from the same contaminated food or drink, and it is appropriately called a foodborne disease outbreak. The eight outbreaks that had taken place in the United States have infected a total of 611 people in 45 states.

45 states including Texas and Oklahoma have reported cases of salmonella related to pet chickens. Credit: Twitter

It was communicated by the CDC that cases of salmonella that started on June 16, 2016, might not be reported yet because it takes time for the disease to show symptoms and the to report the illness to a health center.  It takes between 12 to 72 hours to manifest diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps after the person gets salmonella. The illness usually last 4 to 7 days, the CDC says. But sometimes the diarrhea is severe, and the patient has to go to the hospital to be treated, but must people recovers without treatment.

The CDC reports to have gathered information about the outbreaks since January to June and says that the range of people with salmonella goes from less than one year to 93, with a median age of 20. Among the 496 known cases, 28 percent (138/611) were hospitalized.

People with salmonella admitted touching live poultry before they got sick

The CDC interviewed ill people about being in contact with animals and food before they got sick. The results showed that 88 percent of the 493 cases (434/493) said they had been in touch with live poultry, which includes chicks, chickens, ducks and ducklings.

The investigation discovered that a significant number of people with Salmonella had recently purchase live baby poultry from several suppliers, according to the CDC announcement. The reasons behind the animal’s purchase included to produce eggs, to learn about agriculture, to have them as pets or to give them away during Easter as gifts.

According to the CDC official site, 32 percent of the cases were reported in kids and 52 percent of females.

When people was asked where did they get in touch with the animals they answer: their homes, work or school.

The CDC collaborates with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) to investigate the eight separate multistate outbreaks.

Unfortunately, the outbreaks are expected to continue for the next months since people do not know the risks of Salmonella infection that live poultry can get them.

The CDC website recommends to all individuals to wash their hand with soap and water after touching live or death chicken, and other birds. It is also urged that children younger than five years avoid contact with chickens and ducks without adult supervision and the Center also highlights not to have live poultry inside the house.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention