Apr 4, 2021 - Health

CDC investigates salmonella outbreak linked to wild birds in eight states

Common siskin, carduelis spinus.
Common siskin, carduelis spinus. Photo: Prisma Bildagentur/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating an outbreak of salmonella in eight states that has sickened 19 people, the CDC confirmed in a statement Thursday.

Why it matters: The CDC notes that wild songbirds—such as pine siskins—can be common vectors for the spread of salmonella, and most of the people infected in this outbreak said they had been in contact with a wild bird prior to their illness or owned a bird feeder.

Details: The salmonella infections occurred in California, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington State

  • Those infected ranged from 2 months to 89 years of age, with a median age of 16.
  • Eight people have been hospitalized.
  • Public health officials interviewed 13 of the people sickened with salmonella—nine owned a bird feeder, two had had contact with a "sick or dead bird," and 10 have pets that could have had contact with wild birds.
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