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Live poultry causes a growing salmonella outbreak




Salmonella infections of so-called backyard hens have made more than 200 people ill since February nationwide, including one person in Connecticut. And while no one has died from the outbreak, experts point out that it's important to be wary of live poultry.

"Basically, people need to take precautions when dealing with these animals," said Mary Jane Lis, state veterinarian of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. "You do not put live chicken in the kitchen and expect it to be no problem when preparing food."




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that between February 15 and July 13, 212 people were living through contact with live poultry such as chicks and ducklings infected with salmonella. Of these, 138 individuals provided investigators with information about their disease, and 72 percent of those who did so reported having contact with chicks or ducklings the week before the onset of their illness. Poultry has been obtained from a variety of sources, including feed shops, web sites, hatcheries or relatives.


Thirty-four people were hospitalized, which was the case in 44 states, including one incident in Connecticut.

Salmonella are bacteria that are among the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States. Normally, the symptoms last four to seven days and people recover without treatment. Salmonella poisoning, however, can have serious or even fatal consequences in older adults, infants, people with chronic diseases and other immunocompromised conditions.

According to CDC, humans may experience salmonella infections by touching live chickens and other poultry or their environments. The animals can carry salmonella bacteria even if they appear healthy.

Lis repeated these thoughts.

"They have bacteria not only in their feces, but also in their feathers," she said.

In Connecticut, local governments have their own policies on whether or not residents can keep alive poultry. Even in cities where live poultry is allowed, regulations vary.

In Trumbull, for example, in planning and land use laws, it is said that in backyards a chicken coop is allowed with a maximum of six chickens – as long as it is not (19659009) Milford passed a complex law in 2013 that allowed the keeping of exclusively female poultry, "subject to regulatory approval by the Planning and Zoning Office" and required strict regulations from the budding poultry keepers regarding the species of poultry kept, the number of chickens and the size and positioning of the henhouse.

Lis said the attitude of live poultry to private ownership is more

"They see more chickens staying in places they have not been before," she said.

According to the CDC, 70 salmonella infections have been linked to contact with salmonella ba since 2000. To prevent further outbreaks, the CDC encourages people to take precautionary measures on live poultry, such as hands thoroughly with soap and to wash water immediately after touching live poultry or anything in their environment.

Also, the CDC advises that children who are 5 years old or younger touch live poultry without adult supervision, and recommend putting aside a pair of dress shoes while looking after poultry and those shoes leave outside the house.


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