Recent salmonella outbreaks may be linked to backyard poultry, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In an outbreak advisory released Monday, the CDC said there have been 961 cases in 48 states and Washington, D.C., so far this year. Of the nearly 1,000 cases, 215 resulted in hospitalization and one in death.
In tracking the illnesses, the CDC said 74 percent of those who got sick reported that they'd had contact with live poultry in the week before the illness started.
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The federal agency and multiple states are investigating 10 separate multistate outbreaks of salmonella infections in people who had contact with backyard flocks. The CDC said chickens, ducks and their young can be carrying the salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean with no signs of illness.
The agency recommends always washing hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry. They said children younger than 5 years old should not handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision.
There have been 56 reported cases of salmonella in Virginia — the highest number reported in the United States — seven in Maryland, and one in D.C.