ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health departments in several states are continuing an investigation of 279 people who have been infected with an outbreak of strains of Salmonella linked to contact with backyard poultry including chicks and ducks. Infections in 41 states have been linked to this outbreak. Illnesses linked to this outbreak started as early as Jan. 1.

Salmonella serotypes Agona, Anatum, Braenderup, Infantis, Montevideo and Newport have been linked to contact with backyard poultry in this ongoing outbreak.

Forty people have been hospitalized — no deaths have been reported. Seventy of those infected are children younger than 5 years old.

In investigation interviews, 118 of 153 infected people reported that they had contact with chicks or ducklings. One of the outbreak strains has been identified in samples collected from backyard poultry in Ohio, according to CDC.

Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria even though they appear healthy and clean. CDC warns the public that people can get sick with Salmonella from touching backyard poultry or their environment.