Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Backyard Poultry
An outbreak of Salmonella infections has caused a total of 938 reported cases, causing 151 hospitalizations, and one death in Oklahoma. The outbreak spans 48 states, sparing Hawaii and Rhode Island. The CDC believes the outbreak began in January of 2020, with the last case reported on July 15, 2020. During an interview with 409 people that reported a Salmonella infection caused by the outbreak, 303 people (74%) said they had previously had contact with either chickens or ducklings. An increase has been noted in the amount of Americans that keep chickens and ducks as backyard pets, using them for fresh eggs, education, and fun. Though they might be friendly, these poultry pets may carry a variety of foodborne illness causing diseases, including Salmonella, E. Coli, and Campylobacter, while seemingly healthy and clean.
The CDC recommends that anyone who comes into contact with poultry, or with any objects the poultry has been around, such as food and water containers, eggs, etc., should immediately wash their hands with running water, avoiding touching their face. People should also avoid eating or drinking near poultry and should not kiss or snuggle poultry, limiting all contact between potential food-borne illness causing bacteria and a person’s face and mouth. Those who appear to have the symptoms of salmonella, according to national salmonella lawyer Ron Simon, need to seek medical attention:
” . . . unfortunately, salmonella can be fatal to vulnerable persons, and in some of the victims of a salmonella outbreak also develop long-term illnesses such as salmonella post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome and salmonella post infectious reactive arthritis.”
According to the CDC, symptoms of a Salmonella infection typically begin 1 to 3 days after ingesting the bacteria, though some report symptoms as early as 6 hours and as late as 6 days after ingestion. Symptoms of salmonellosis, the infection caused by Salmonella bacteria, include typical food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and cramping, though some have also reported nausea, vomiting, and a headache. The majority of people recover from the infection without treatment, though those with a severe infection may need a treatment of antibiotics. People with weakened immune system, the elderly, pregnant women, and children, are more at risk for a severe infection. Some patients may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration from excessive diarrhea or due to the severity of their gastroenteritis. If you believe you are suffering from Salmonella poisoning, contact your doctor for the best course of treatment.