Two States Investigating Outbreak of Psittacosis at Poultry Plants

According to CDC, the latest data suggest the outbreak is only affecting people who work at the identified poultry slaughter plants, but public health officials are investigating whether other people exposed to chickens that were shipped to the affected plants got sick.

The Virginia and Georgia departments of health are investigating a multistate outbreak of psittacosis occurring at two poultry slaughter plants owned by a single corporation, and CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are assisting with their investigation, CDC reported Sept. 19. CDC reported it is working with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service to identify other, similar plants.

Chlamydia psittaci, the type of bacteria that causes psittacosis, was detected by a laboratory test in 10 people. Additional illnesses in workers at the two plants have been identified but haven't been confirmed by a laboratory. No deaths have been reported, according to CDC's release. It says the number of cases is likely to change, and investigators are still working to understand why the outbreak occurred.

Both plants suspended operations for cleaning: On Sept. 8, the Virginia plant did, and it reopened Sept. 18. The Georgia plant suspended operations on Sept. 15 and reopened Sept. 19.

According to CDC, the latest data suggest the outbreak is only affecting people who work at the identified poultry slaughter plants, but public health officials are investigating whether other people exposed to chickens, such as farmers and truck drivers, that were shipped to the affected plants got sick. "At this time, investigators do not believe people working outside of this industry or consumers are at risk," the release said.

The most common way someone gets infected with the bacteria that cause psittacosis is by breathing in dust containing dried secretions (e.g., droppings, respiratory) from infected birds. CDC noted it is rare for psittacosis to spread from person to person, and in this outbreak, infection among family members who are not workers at the affected plants has not been reported.

Psittacosis usually causes mild illness in people, with its most common symptoms including fever and chills, headache, muscle aches, and a dry cough. But it can cause pneumonia and, in rare cases, death.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Reserve your copy of the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get a detailed, fact-based comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • Best Practices to Navigate ISO 45001

    Learn helpful tips and tricks to navigate your transition to ISO 45001 certification and ensure an effective health and safety management system.

  • Improve Your Safety Culture

    Learn the 3 fundamental areas to focus on to achieve safety culture excellence and what you can do to boost employee engagement in your EHS programs.

  • Chemical Safety: 5 Questions Answered by Experts

    Get answers to 5 of the most frequently asked questions about how to effectively mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your chemical data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management technology program.

  • How Has COVID-19 Changed Safety Culture?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has provided unique opportunities for health and safety professionals to rethink how they manage risk and develop stronger safety cultures. Read this eBook to learn actionable steps you can implement today to improve your programs.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January February 2021

    January February 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING: SOFTWARE
      Tips for Choosing the Best Training Software
    • COMBUSTIBLE DUST
      Assessing the Dangers of Dust Explosions
    • HAND PROTECTION
      Pushing the Boundaries of Hand Protection
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      Getting a Grip on Slip Resistance
    View This Issue