A multi-state Salmonella outbreak due to contact with backyard poultry has left 212 people ill, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

The illnesses related to this outbreak occurred from February 15 to June 21.

Since CDC’s last update, which was issued on June 8, 88 more illnesses have been reported, bringing the total to 2012. The outbreak has affected people from 44 states. Of those affected, 34 have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

Young children have been especially affected by the Salmonella outbreak, as 26 percent of the patients were under the age of 5.

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According to the CDC, epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries. In interviews, 100 of 138 ill people with information available reported contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness started. People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.

CDC recommendations

CDC’s advice to keepers of backyard poultry remains the same. The agency advises:

  • People can get sick from Salmonella from touching live poultry or their environment. Birds carrying the bacteria can appear healthy and clean.
  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment.
  • Don’t let children under 5 touch live poultry without adult supervision.
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of your birds and keep those outside of your home.
  • Don’t let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.

According to an earlier report from CDC, more Salmonella illnesses linked to contact with backyard poultry were reported last year than any other year in history, with 1,120 Salmonella cases in 2017, the agency stated. In 2016, CDC reported that 895 people had become ill from Salmonella infections linked to backyard poultry.