Salmonella Outbreak Affecting 31 States Including Oklahoma linked to Backyard Poultry

Published May 30, 2023

Public health officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella that has been linked to backyard poultry contact. 31 states, including Oklahoma, have been identified as part of this outbreak with 104 total individuals linked so far. Salmonella germs are commonly found on backyard poultry, such as chickens and ducks, even if they appear healthy and clean. To date, 6 individuals from Oklahoma have been linked to this outbreak. Salmonella can cause illness by touching your mouth or food without first washing your hands and swallowing the germs. Symptoms often start within 6 hours – 6 days after infection and typically lasts 4 – 7 days.

Backyard flock owners and individuals around poultry can take the following precautionary steps to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water after handling backyard poultry, collecting eggs, and/or touching areas where the poultry live and roam.
  • Don’t cuddle with backyard poultry and don’t eat or drink around them, as Salmonella germs can be spread to your mouth.
  • Supervise children around backyard flocks and ensure they wash their hands properly afterwards.
  • Handle and collect eggs safely. Collect eggs often and discard any with cracked or broken shells. Rub off dirt from eggs using fine sandpaper, a brush, or cloth, as washing eggs with colder water can pull germs into the egg. Always refrigerate eggs to keep them fresh and reduce the growth of germs.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection includes:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Headache

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any severe symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees
  • Diarrhea for 3+ days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Excessive vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration