As of June 7, 2019, a total of 279 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 41 states.
Illnesses started on dates from January 1, 2019, to May 24, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 92 years, with a median age of 25 years. Fifty-seven percent are female. Of 152 people with information available, 40 (26%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
One of the outbreak strains making people sick was identified in samples collected from backyard poultry in Ohio. Additional testing in several states is being conducted.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about animal contact in the week before they became ill. Of 153 people interviewed, 118 (77%) reported contact with backyard poultry before becoming ill. Ill people reported buying poultry from various sources, including agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries.
Backyard poultry from multiple hatcheries are the likely source of these outbreaks. Regardless of where poultry are purchased, they can carry Salmonella germs that can make people sick. Backyard poultry owners should always follow steps to stay healthy around their poultry.
We have had hens in our backyard since just after the DeCoster egg debacle in 2010. I clean the chicken house about twice a month and the shoes and clothes I wear are removed before going inside. I wear a mask and gloves when I clean and either wash my hands well or take a shower. I do not pick up the chickens unless they are ill, and I wash my hands after I do. I wash the eggs and refrigerate then. They tend to get used within the week.
I do my best to think about the possibility of cross-contamination with Salmonella and/or Campylobacter. So far, so good.