A group of three free range hens and a cockerel foraging for food in summer grass. (iStock)
A multi-state salmonella outbreak tied to having contact with backyard poultry has made dozens of people sick, officials said.
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Out of 52 reported infections across 21 states, five people have been hospitalized, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a news release Thursday. Kids younger than five years old made up 28% of those who became sick, they added.
“Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with backyard poultry (such as chicks and ducklings) from multiple hatcheries is the likely source of these outbreaks,” the CDC said.
Agricultural stores, websites and hatcheries were among the places where people said they acquired the animals, according to the agency.
Common symptoms of the infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, which presents between “12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria,” the news release said.
“People can get sick with Salmonella infections from touching backyard poultry or their environment” according to the CDC. “These birds can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.”