CDC Documents Salmonella Outbreaks from Backyard Chickens


In a May 16th release, the CDC reported on incident cases of salmonellosis in owners of backyard chicken flocks. The report noted 52 cases in 21 states with five hospitalizations. A quarter of the cases involved children under five years of age. The most likely vehicles of infection were day- old chicks and a few ducklings purchased from agricultural stores and mail-order hatcheries.

The CDC issued the usual precautions regarding preventing direct contact with live poultry, confining birds to the exterior of a home and handwashing after handling chicks. Although these common sense precautions will reduce the possibility of infection, chicks and duckling are usually brooded inside a home and are handled by children. The increase in incidence rate of chick and duckling-derived salmonellosis is attributed to injudicious purchase over Easter.