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CDC warns of salmonella outbreak from backyard poultry farms

By Ehren Wynder

May 23 (UPI) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday warned of a salmonella outbreak linked to contact with backyard poultry.

Public health officials are investigating salmonella outbreaks in 29 states linked to backyard poultry flocks. There have been 109 cases, including 33 hospitalizations, according to the CDC.

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So far, there are not recorded deaths linked to the outbreak.

Backyard poultry, such as chickens and ducks, can carry the bacteria that cause salmonella even if they look healthy and clean, according to the CDC. People can contract the disease from touching the birds or anything in their environment and then touching their mouths or food.

Most people with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually take effect six hours to six days from contracting the disease.

Most healthy people recover without treatment after four to seven days. The disease can be deadly and require hospitalization for children younger that 5 years, adults 65 years and older and people with weakened immune symptoms.

In this most recent outbreak, 43% of infected people were children under 5 years old, according to the CDC.

The CDC encourages people to wash their hands frequently, especially after touching backyard poultry or anything in their environment.

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People should collect the eggs from backyard poultry often, because eggs that are left to sit out can become dirty or break. Eggs should be cleaned with a brush or cloth and cooked until the whites and yolks are firm.

The CDC encouraged stores to source poultry only from hatcheries that use the U.S. Department of Agriculture's best management practices to reduce the spread of Salmonella.

Stores also should sanitize poultry display areas in between new shipments.

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