As of this week, 938 people have been infected with salmonella by 2020. Cases have almost doubled in the past month – 473 people have fallen ill since the last case report in June, the CDC said.
The alleged culprit in this outbreak is birds. Public health officials interviewed over 400 of the people who contracted salmonella, and 74% of them said they would have contact with chickens and ducks.
Since the disease was first reported in January, the CDC said 15 multistate outbreaks have been identified. So far, three of them, found in Kentucky and Oregon, have been linked to birds and their burrows.
The CDC did not speculate on why more people were infected in 2020 than in previous years. The timeline of reported cases indicates that cases began to increase by the end of March (cases usually increase in the spring, when poultry farming is most popular, the CDC said).
Chickens and ducks can carry salmonella in their digestive tract, which does not harm them, but can cause diarrhea, fever and painful cramps in people who are exposed to the bacteria in poultry feathers or eggs or in their spots. .
CNN’s Jen Christensen contributed to this report.