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BREAKING NEWS

Number of illnesses from "backyard" poultry flocks breaks the record
October 20, 2017




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 Chronicle staff
 
(NATIONAL)  --  It's all the rage these days in certain parts of suburbia. Doing that micro-farmer thing and raising chickens and ducks in the backyard as healthy food items for the family. You cook the fresh eggs and occasionally roast a free (backyard) range hen or duck that was grown with loving care and no hormones or antibiotics.
 
What could be more healthy for the family? The problem is, a fair number of people in families across the country are getting sick from the practice.
 
The FDA says it has been a record year for backyard flocks being responsible for 10 Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. to date in 2017.
 
More than 1100 people in 48 states got sick, 249 were hospitalized and one person died (in North Carolina). Epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory findings linked the 10 outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries.
 
On Thursday the FDA said that even though federal officials have concluded their probes of all 10 outbreaks, they expect additional victims are likely to be identified.
 
Some items from an FDA update posted Thursday:
 
.......This year saw the largest number of illnesses linked to contact with backyard poultry ever recorded by CDC. Contact with live poultry or their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Live poultry such as chickens and ducks can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean, with no sign of illness.
 
.......As raising backyard flocks becomes more popular, more people are having contact with chickens and ducks – and may not know about the risk of Salmonella infection.
 
.......These outbreaks are a reminder to follow steps to keep your family healthy while enjoying your backyard flock.
 
.......Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where the birds live and roam. (Adults should supervise hand washing for children)
 
.......Do not let live poultry inside the house.
 
.......Do not let children younger than 5 years handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without adult supervision.    

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