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.
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.
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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: