Forty-three cases of human salmonella have been reported in the state of Florida, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cases are linked to live poultry or chickens in backyard flocks, the CDC said. Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.
According to the Florida Department of Health, 21 counties across the state have been affected. Broward and Palm Beach are included in the count, although the department does not currently have a case-by-case breakdown of infections, a spokesperson said.
Since January, 961 people in the continental United States and the District of Columbia have been infected with the illness. 215 people have been hospitalized and one person in North Carolina has died, the CDC said.
The health agency is currently investigating 10 separate multistate outbreaks of the condition. 74 percent of infected people reported contact with live poultry the week before sickness started.
Salmonella infections typically last 4 to 7 days and most people recover without resorting to medical treatment. Infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are more prone to infection. The strains of salmonella prevalent in the current outbreak are not contagious, a spokesperson said.
The CDC advises anyone who frequently tends to live chickens to wash their hands often to reduce risk of infection. Kids, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems should also refrain from touching or playing with the animals.
The health department also urges people not to snuggle or kiss live poultry and to refrain from eating or drinking around the creatures.
On Aug. 18, the CDC reported that strains of salmonella had been found in Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm located in Mexico. The papayas are sold under multiple brand names, the CDC said.
Apart from Broward and Palm Beach, the other Florida counties with reported infections are: Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Charlotte, Duval, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota and St. Johns.