USA – Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and multiple states are investigating several multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

According to CDC, it made the last update on June 8, 2018, to which 88 more ill people have been reported and the most recent illness began on June 21, 2018.

People can get sick with Salmonella infections from touching live poultry or their environment, as these birds can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.

It also added that several different types of Salmonella bacteria have made people sick in this outbreak: Salmonella Seftenberg, Salmonella Montevideo, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Indiana, and Salmonella Litchfield.

As of July 13, 2018, 212 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 44 states.

Illnesses started from February 15, 2018 to June 21, 2018, 34 ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

26% of ill people are children younger than 5 years.

The epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries.

In interviews, 100 (72%) of 138 ill people with information available reported contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness started.

People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis to identify antibiotic resistance was performed for 118 isolates from ill people in this outbreak.

Twenty-two isolates from ill people contained genes expected to cause resistance or decreased susceptibility to all or some of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, gentamicin, ceftriaxone, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, cefoxitin, ciprofloxacin, and fosfomycin.

Ninety-six isolates did not identify predicted resistance.

Testing of 5 outbreak isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory confirmed these results.

Some infections may be difficult to treat with commonly recommended antibiotics, and may require another kind of antibiotic.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC said it will provide updates when more information is available.

The CDC is also advising people to not hug chickens because doing so could spread illness like salmonella.

Health leaders say the birds should also be kept away from any area where food or drinks are prepared.