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CDC: Kentucky Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Backyard Chickens

For decades, many healthy chickens were routinely fed antibiotics to prevent disease outbreak and to promote rapid growth.
For decades, many healthy chickens were routinely fed antibiotics to prevent disease outbreak and to promote rapid growth.

Kentucky is one of several states where theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting salmonella cases related to chickens and ducks. The CDC says most of the cases are connected to backyard poultry owners.

According to the federal agency, there are 17 reported cases in the state.  The CDC is reporting a total of 474 cases across 46 states as of June 17. The one reported death from the nationwide outbreak is in Indiana.

While the illness has affected people of all ages, the hardest hit group has been children under five. The CDC reports they make up a third of the reported cases.

Officials advise that backyard poultry owners keep children away from the birds. Other guidelines include frequent handwashing after contact with the animals and safe egg handling practices. 

“The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella,” the CDC wrote in an online notice.

More information on the outbreak, symptoms & affected areas is available on the CDC website.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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