The CDC reported that in interviews with 409 ill people, 303 (74%) reported contact with chicks and ducklings they got from several sources, including agricultural stores, websites and hatcheries.
Testing of backyard poultry and their environments (such as backyard coops) in Kentucky and Oregon found three of the outbreak strains.
Infection can be prevented, however. The CDC recommends the following safety tips:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching backyard poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise handwashing by young children. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
- Don't let backyard poultry inside the house, especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.
- Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside the house.
- Children younger than 5, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems shouldn't handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other poultry.
- Don't eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
- Don't kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
- Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry, such as cages, or feed or water containers.
- For a complete list of recommendations, visit the Healthy Pets, Healthy People website section on backyard poultry.