The Center for Disease Control, along with several states, are investigating several multistate outbreaks of Salmonella linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks. The outbreak caused infections in at least 73 people, 24 of whom had to be treated in hospital.
The CDC reports six different strains of salmonella bacteria have been found in 44 states, including Florida and Georgia.
According to the CDC, 212 cases have been reported, including one in Maine.
More than a quarter of those sickened are children under the age of 5.
Chicks and ducklings from multiple hatcheries have been tied to the outbreaks, and numerous people stricken reported getting chicks and ducklings from sources including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries and relatives, said the agency.
The CDC warns "some infections may be hard to treat with commonly-recommended antibiotics, and may require another kind of antibiotic".
The bacteria is not visible to the naked eye and can be carried naturally in the intestines of some animals that show no signs of being ill.
"People can get sick with salmonella infections from touching live poultry or their environment", the advisory stated. They also advise not letting live birds inside the house, especially where food or drink is prepared, served or stored.
People are also warned not to kiss birds or hold them (common for children with ducklings and chicks or in petting zoos) and then touch their face or mouth.
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