Two dead and nearly 600 people are ill from Salmonella outbreaks linked to linked to backyard poultry and pig ear dog treats.
A nationwide Salmonella outbreak has affected 48 states and caused 122 hospitalizations, according to the most recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention investigation update. Over 20% of those who became ill are children under the age of 5.
In Pennsylvania alone there have been 37 confirmed cases of people infected with this outbreak’s strains of Salmonella.
The people who got sick reported getting chicks and ducklings from places such as agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries. People can get sick from Salmonella after touching poultry or cages where poultry is kept.
It is important not to let backyard poultry inside the house, and keep chickens and ducks out of areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching poultry or their environment is essential for protecting yourself from Salmonella.
At least 93 people from 27 states have confirmed Salmonella infections tied to pig ears sold as dog treats, and 20 people have been hospitalized.
Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins on July 3 following the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention investigating contaminated pig ear treats connecting to Salmonella. Bulk pig ears were distributed in Pet Supplies Plus stores in Pennsylvania.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products, and humans are at risk of contracting the illness from handling infected pet products if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after having contact with any of the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. So far no deaths have been linked to the pig ear dog treats contaminated with Salmonella.
Symptoms of Salmonella include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. In severe cases of diarrhea, hospitalization is necessary for some people as the infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
People the most likely to get a serious illness from Salmonella are children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65 years, and people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.