RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Backyard chicken flocks have become quite popular and with that, a health warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since May 25, there have been 372 cases of Salmonella linked to backyard poultry flocks in 47 states, including three in South Dakota and six in Wyoming.
According to the CDC, the outbreaks are caused by several kinds of Salmonella bacteria passed on to people when they are in contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings that come from several hatcheries. People reported purchasing live baby poultry from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from Jan. 4, 2017 to May 13, 2017.
Thirty-six percent of ill people are children younger than five. The bacteria caused 71 people to be hospitalized but no deaths have been reported.
Outbreaks linked to contact with live poultry have increased in recent years as more people keep backyard flocks. In 2016, a record number of illnesses (895 with three deaths) were linked to contact with backyard poultry.