CDC is collaborating with public health, veterinary, and agriculture officials in many states, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), to investigate seven separate multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections. Results from these investigations showed that contact with live poultry in backyard flocks was the likely source of these outbreaks. Contact with live poultry (such as chicks, chickens, ducks, and ducklings) and their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Regardless of where they are purchased, live poultry may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies (feathers, feet, and beaks) even when they appear healthy and clean. The germs can also get on cages, coops, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the birds live and roam. People, especially children, can be exposed to Salmonella by holding, cuddling, or kissing the birds and by touching things where the bird lives, such as cages or feed and water bowls.
In seven separate multistate outbreaks, a total of 324 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from 35 states. Among people who reported the date they became ill, illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2016 to May 11, 2016.
Ill people reported purchasing live baby poultry from several different suppliers, including feed supply stores, Co-Ops, hatcheries, and friends in multiple states. Ill people reported purchasing live poultry to produce eggs, learn about agriculture, have as a hobby, enjoy for fun, keep as pets, or to give as Easter gifts. Some of the places ill people reported contact with live poultry include at their home, someone else’s home, work, or school settings.