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US battles salmonella linked to back-yard flocks

Salmonella infections linked to live poultry have infected nearly 1,000 people this year across the United States, according to figures released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Backyard flocks are cited as the main cause of illness, with multiple strains infecting 961 people in 48 states and the District of Columbia to date.

US battles salmonella linked to back-yard flocks. Photo: WoodleyWonders/Wikimedia
US battles salmonella linked to back-yard flocks. Photo: WoodleyWonders/Wikimedia

Human illness rate from live poultry rises

Federal health authorities say more people have been sickened by live poultry this year than in the whole of 2016.

Of those infected, more than a fifth (215) have received hospital treatment and 1 person in North Carolina has died.

“Contact with live poultry or their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Live poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean, with no signs of illness,” said the CDC.

Check out the interactive Poultry Health Tool - with the latest insights on the 40+ most common poultry diseases.

CDC following 10 different outbreaks

Spokesman Dr Robert Tauxe, said the CDC was following 10 different outbreaks – each of them caused by a different strain of salmonella. It is being caused because more and more people are having backyard flocks.

The CDC urged all poultry keepers to take a range of steps to avoid being infected with salmonella:

  • Wash hands after handling live poultry
  • Do not allow live chickens, ducks and geese in the house
  • Do not allow children younger than five to handle or touch live poultry and eggs without supervision
  • Do not eat or drink around live poultry


  • Nurit Gal Reches

    1000 infected per year in the whole of USA?

  • Wayne Osborne

    And I wonder where those backyard growers are getting the Salmonella? Could it be the hatcheries which don't have a strong goal of utilizing Salmonella free breeder flocks as they do in Europe? How's that for manipulating public perception, sell backyarders Salmonella infected chicks and then blame the backyarders for the Salmonella outbreaks.

  • Charlene LABOMBARD

    I believe most large flocks are vaccinated for Salmonella. I think the problem is that the people with a lot of backyard flocks have not had enough contact with poultry and animals in the past as children to have immunity to this and others germs.


    More folks are dying from Diesel engine exhausts --- Wake up folks wrong target !

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