The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 19 people had been sickened in eight states.
A salmonella outbreak linked to contact with wild songbirds and bird feeders has sickened 19 people across eight states, eight of whom have been hospitalized, federal health authorities said.
To prevent further cases, the C.D.C. recommends cleaning bird feeders and bird baths once a week or when they are dirty. People should avoid feeding wild birds with their bare hands, and should wash their hands with soap and water after touching a bird feeder or bath, or after handling a bird.
“It can happen any year, but this has been a particularly bad year,” Ms. Jones said. “Pine siskins are not very good at social distancing.”
Sick birds can often look weak or lethargic, or may appear to be struggling to breathe, Ms. Jones said. She added that most birds die within 24 hours of being infected by salmonella.
Many pine siskins are now leaving California for Canada, Ms. Jones said, adding that she hoped the outbreak might be nearing an end.
Salmonella bacteria can spread from birds to pets and to humans. People may experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps for anywhere from six hours to six days after infection, according to the C.D.C. Children, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems sometimes suffer worse cases of salmonella, though most people recover in a week or less without treatment.
Because many people recover quickly and are not tested for salmonella, the C.D.C. said it was likely that the true number of cases resulting from the outbreak was much higher than the number of reported cases.
About 1.35 million cases of salmonella are reported every year in the United States. Of those, about 26,500 require hospitalization and 420 result in death, according to the C.D.C.
Source: New York Times