National News

NC salmonella outbreak linked to backyard chickens

Posted August 4

We have two gold laced wyandottes.  These chickens lay light brown, almost pink eggs.  They are also a heavy-weight breed.

— Flocks of chickens can be found in backyards throughout the Piedmont Triad and they're making people sick across the country.

The Center for Disease Control reports that, since January 2017, there have been 10 Salmonella outbreaks that have infected 790 people and hospitalized 174 across the country. North Carolina is among the hardest hit states, with 39 cases.

Eight months into the year, no one has died from the illness, but the CDC is warning flock owners to be extra cautious just in case.

"Do not snuggle or kiss the birds," a CDC tip reads. "Don't touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry."

The agency says don't let your birds live inside the home, limit contact of children under 5 and adults older than 65 and always wash your hands after touching any live poultry.


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  • Ford Monroe Aug 5, 5:12 p.m.
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    Yep. Even this local NC band has written a song about the dangers of Kissin on Your Chicken.

  • Sue Sloan Aug 5, 1:21 p.m.
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    It's a shame people have to be told to wash their hands and don't kiss the chickens...

  • Cnc Stone Aug 5, 1:09 p.m.
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    I thought ag gage put a stop to all telling on things being done wrong in this state ? Hypocrites

  • Henry Cooper Aug 4, 4:24 p.m.
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    Chickens or any fowl can introduce health risks if not cared for properly or overdone in a neighborhood. The avg amount of droppings they produce a day is amazing... You cannot just let it wash away and forget about it like it disappears but some do.

    No accusations of anyone here but I dealt with the run off of 12 ducks and owners that did not care. It was nasty and there is so much more than just handling them correctly.

    Birds/fowl are really not very clean animals when it comes to other typical "farm" animals.

  • Beth King Aug 4, 2:44 p.m.
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    Steve Stanek i should be common sense I agree with you on that, but there are people who are raising chickens and they do not follow cleaning protocol. It's just a fact, so a reminder does not hurt. I have know people who had salmonella and children that had it. It is nothing to joke about, so if they need to be reminded of the seriousness of it then so be it.

  • Stacie Hagwood Aug 4, 1:46 p.m.
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    I thought it sounded pretty alarmist, too. I have had chickens for 3 years now and no one in my family has ever gotten sick. But of course, we don't kiss them, either. And handling them (on the rare occasion they are picked up) and the eggs is immediately followed by handwashing. Like Steve said, just common sense.

  • Steve Stanek Aug 4, 1:18 p.m.
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    Really? What an alarmist article?!?!?! Evil backyard flocks getting people sick around the country. It is common sense handling of animals....

    Where is the news article on the killer papayas from mexico?
    There is the link.... 64 sick from it. But backyard flocks are a minor concern. How about industry standards for keeping animals, they by far sicken more people than back yard flocks.