The Denver Post
BACKYARD CHICKENS CARRY INFECTIONS
The popular trend of raising backyard chickens in U.S. cities and suburbs is bringing with it a soaring number of illnesses from poultryrelated diseases, at least one of them fatal.
Since January, nearly 1,000 people have contracted salmonella poisoning from chickens and ducks in 48 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 200 were hospitalized and one person died. The toll was four times higher than in 2015.
The CDC estimates the actual number of cases from contact with birds is likely much higher. “For one salmonella case we know of in an outbreak, there are up to 30 others that we don’t know about,” CDC veterinarian Megin Nichols said.
The CDC recommends people wash their hands thoroughly after handling chickens, eggs or nesting materials, and leave shoes worn in chicken coops outside.
There are no firm figures on how many households in the U.S. have backyard chickens, but a Department of Agriculture report in 2013 found a growing number of residents in Denver, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City expressed interest in getting them. Coops are now seen in even the smallest yards and densest urban neighborhoods.