More than 900 people in 48 states have been infected with salmonella, and their diseases are likely to be linked to garden birds such as chickens and ducks, the CDC reported.
As of this week, 938 people will be infected with salmonella in 2020. Cases have almost doubled in the last month; 473 people have gone since the last case report in June, the CDC said.
The presumed culprit in this outbreak is poultry. Public health officials interviewed more than 400 people with salmonella, 74% of whom said they had contact with chickens and ducks.
Since the first disease was reported in January, the CDC said 15 outbreaks with multiple states have been identified. So far, three of them, found in Kentucky and Oregon, have been tied to poultry and their coops.
The CDC did not specify why more people became infected in 2020 than in years past. The timetable of reported cases shows that cases started to increase towards the end of March. Cases that usually stand out in the spring, when poultry farming is most popular, the CDC said.
Chicks and ducks can carry salmonella in their digestive tract, which is harmless but can cause diarrhea, fever and cramps in humans who are exposed to bacteria on bird feathers or eggs or in their feces.
Frequent hand washing after handling any animal or any objects in their environment, such as eggs, is the best way to prevent infection, the CDC says.
The CDC also encourages poultry owners to refrain from suffering or harassing their animals or leaving them indoors. It is also best to keep children younger than 5 years away from animals, as young children are more likely to become severely ill from the infection.
The CNN Wire
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