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CDC Updates Salmonella Outbreak from Backyard Poultry

09/08/2019

In a September 3rd release, the CDC confirmed that a total of 1,003 diagnosed cases of salmonellosis have been made in 49 states attributed to contact with backyard poultry including day-old chicks and ducklings.  The 2019 cases have resulted in 175 hospitalizations and two fatalities. The number of cases in 2009 covering seven months is almost the same as the 1,120 incidence rate for entire 2017 suggesting that any recommendations by CDC or public health authorities have not diminished this national problem. 

 

It is known that small hatcheries distributing chicks and ducklings supply product infected with Salmonella.  Accordingly it will require the tort bar to resolve the issue since knowingly or negligently distributing infected poultry intended to be kept as pets represents disregard for public health.

 

The CDC advice concerning washing hands after touching poultry or preventing backyard poultry from entering homes appears to be of negligible value.  Why not simply recognize the danger and advise prospective and existing owners of poultry of the risks and consequences of salmonellosis. Banning interstate transport of live chicks and ducks other than from hatcheries complying NPIP Salmonella requirements would be beneficial.  In 1965 the CDC took action against producers of turtles responsible for extensive outbreaks of Salmonella infection.  The doyen of epidemiology Dr. Eugene Gangarosa in advocating for the ban on interstate transport of hatchlings emphasized that “turtles are inappropriate pets”. By the same token day-old chicks and ducklings fall into the same category.