More than 900 people in 48 states have been infected with salmonella, and their diseases are probably related to poultry like chicks and ducklings, according to the CDC.
As of this week, 938 people were infected with salmonella in 2020. Cases have almost doubled in the last month; 473 people have fallen ill since the last case report in June, the CDC reports.
The probable culprit of this outbreak is a bird. Health officials interviewed more than 400 people with salmonellosis, and 74% said they had contact with chicks and ducklings.
Since the first illness appeared in January, the CDC said 15 multi-layered outbreaks had been detected. So far, three of them, found in Kentucky and Oregon, have been linked to poultry and their cupbearers.
The CDC did not speculate as to why more people were infected in 2020 than in previous years. The schedule of reported cases shows that cases began to rise in late March. Cases usually hiss in the spring, when poultry farming is most popular, the CDC notes.
Chicks and ducks can carry salmonella in the digestive tract, which does not harm them, but can cause diarrhea, fever and painful cramps in people who are exposed to bacteria on birds’ feathers or eggs or in their manure.
Frequent hand washing after handling any animals or objects in their environment, such as eggs, is the best way to prevent infection, the CDC says.
The CDC also encourages poultry owners to refrain from kissing or taming animals or bringing them into the home. It is also best to keep children under the age of 5 away from animals, as young children are more likely to get the infection.
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