Thursday, July 21, 2016

Backyard flocks pose health risk

Backyard chicken flocks have caused a rash of outbreaks of salmonella poisoning, including children, reports the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data comes out just as city councils, including the one in Kitchener, are considering bylaw changes to legalize raising chickens in the city.

The U.S. agency says there now are “eight multistate outbreaks of human salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

“In the eight outbreaks, 611 people infected with the outbreak strains of salmonella were reported from 45 states.

“Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4 to June 25.”

Of those who became ill, 138 were hospitalized. One died, but not of salmonella. Thirty-two per cent (195 of those sickened) were children under the age of five.

The agency says “epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings have linked the eight outbreaks to contact with live poultry such as chicks and ducklings sourced from multiple hatcheries.”