Salmonella Outbreak 2016: Hundreds Were Sickened in 35 States

First Posted: Jun 06, 2016 09:02 AM EDT

The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and multiple states are now examining multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infection, which is associated to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks. There were seven outbreaks reported and a total of 324 people were infected from 35 states.

According to CDC, the infections began from January 4, 2016, to May 11, 2016. There were sixty-six people that were hospitalized and eighty-eight or 27 percent of the sickened people were children aged 5 years or younger.

The cause of Salmonella infections is having contact with live poultry such as ducks, ducklings, chickens and chicks. This can make the infected with Salmonella. These fowls may have Salmonella germs on their bodies such as on their feet, beaks and feathers. The germs may also be found on coops, cages, hay, soil and plants in the area where the fowls live and roam.

 CDC said that regardless of where they were purchased, all live poultry can carry salmonella bacteria, even if they look healthy and clean. They advise the people who are nearby poultry should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching them. They further said that children younger than 5 must not touch the animals and not let live poultry in the house, according to ABC News.

The PulseNet, in coordination with CDC, examines DNA fingerprinting on Salmonella bacteria isolated from sick people. They use the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and the whole genome sequencing (WGS) to identify any possible outbreaks. The PulseNet is a national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories.

The infected people said that they purchased live baby poultry from various suppliers. These include the hatcheries, Co-Ops, feed supply store and friends in multiple states. They want to learn about agriculture and to produce eggs or a hobby and for fun such as keeping them as pets. The places that most people were infected were at their home, work, someone else's home or in school settings.

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