The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is warning people from multiple states to keep away from chickens, geese, and other fowls for the time being. The warnings are made to prevent the worsening of already eight human Salmonella outbreaks that are linked to contact with fowls in backyard flocks.
The CDC posted an outbreak advisory on June 1 informing the public that they, along with multiple state health and agriculture departments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, are currently holding an investigation regarding multistate Salmonella outbreaks that began since January 2017.
So far, between Jan. 4 and May 13, 2017, eight outbreaks have been recorded in 47 states across the country. No deaths have been recorded so far, but 372 people have been infected with Salmonella, with 71 of them hospitalized.
As such, they advise people to stay away from fowls to prevent contracting human Salmonella infection especially since 36 percent among the infected are children younger than the age of 5.
The current outbreaks are caused by eight different Salmonella strains and have been closely linked to being in contact with livestock in backyards. In fact, in an interview with the patients, 83 percent among 228 of the infected reported living with livestock such as chicks and ducklings in the weeks leading to contracting the illness.
The CDC cautions that contact with poultry in living areas can lead to human Salmonella infections, and that even clean and healthy-looking creatures can carry the bacteria. What's more, they also state that a record number of illnesses related to contact with live poultry were recorded in 2016 as a result of more and more people deciding to keep backyard flocks.
The CDC's Advice
For starters, the CDC cautions the public to disallow children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 65 to touch or handle livestock. Further, thorough hand washing after contact with livestock or anywhere in their living area is also emphasized.
For those keeping livestock in their backyards, the CDC recommends further hand washing after handling clothes and materials that have come in contact with livestock. If water and soap are not immediately available, they suggest using hand sanitizer until soap and water are available.
The CDC recommends against letting livestock live or roam inside the house, the bathroom, and especially the kitchen or pantry where food is prepared, stored, or eaten. They also advise against snuggling and kissing the birds, and washing live poultry equipment indoors.