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Pa. backyard chickens linked to salmonella outbreak

Patriot-News - 8/24/2017

Aug. 24--Health officials are investing ten outbreaks of salmonella infections involving multiple states including Pennsylvania and attributed to flocks of backyard chickens.

All told, 961 people in 48 states and the District of Columbia had come down with salmonella as a result of the outbreaks as of Aug. 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. That includes 215 people who were hospitalized and one who died.

Pennsylvania had 26 cases. Virginia had the most cases, 56. Salmonella causes symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and fever, with most people recovering in a week. But people with weak immune systems are at risk of becoming seriously ill.

Most of the people who got sick had reported having contact with live poultry in the previous week. The CDC noted that salmonella can be carried by chickens that look clean and healthy.

The CDC offers advice including:

-- Always wash hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam, and make sure young children wash their hands.

-- Don't let live poultry inside the house, or in any area, such as an outdoor patio, where food is eaten or stored.

-- Children younger than 5, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems should not touch, chicks, chickens or other live poultry, because they are more likely to become seriously ill.

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(c)2017 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

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