The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and multiple states, including Minnesota, are investigating outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

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As of June 1st, there were 7 cases in the Gopher State and 124 nationwide.

Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse said it can make people pretty miserable. ” Most commonly, it causes some abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea,” she explained, “The diarrhea can be both watery diarrhea but occasionally it can cause bloody diarrhea as well.”

In most healthy people, she said the symptoms can be pretty mild and, “They may have some diarrhea and the symptoms can go away over time without needing any specific treatment. However, people who have weakened immune systems,  young children, pregnant women, or people who have other issues with their digestive system may have more severe symptoms. Generally, most healthy people don’t require antibiotics to treat salmonella infection.”

The CDC said the current outbreaks are linked to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which have come from multiple hatcheries. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that people purchase poultry from only licensed dealers and wash their hands thoroughly after handling the birds.

Several communities in the region, most recently St. Peter, allow small flocks to be raised in residential areas.