More Than 300 People Hit by Salmonella from Live Birds

The Poultry Site – A total of 316 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 37 states, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The source of infection has been traced to sales of young poultry from agricultural stores, which are mainly frequented by small-scale and hobby farmers.

According to the latest CDC report – dated 19 August – among 199 ill persons with available information, 51 (26 per cent) have been admitted to hospital; 59 per cent of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger.

Eighty-one per cent of ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began, says CDC and 97 per cent of ill persons reported purchasing live poultry from agricultural feed stores. A total of 113 locations of feed stores representing 33 feed store companies were identified. Trace-back investigations have identified 18 mail-order hatcheries that supplied poultry to these feed stores.

Epidemiological, laboratory and trace-back findings by CDC have linked this outbreak of human Salmonella Typhimurium infections to contact with chicks, ducklings and other live newly hatched poultry sourced from Privett Hatchery in Portales, New Mexico.

CDC recommends always washing hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching any live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Do not let live poultry inside the house. These recommendations are important and apply to all live poultry regardless of the age of the birds or where they were purchased. Additional recommendations are available.

Mail-order hatcheries, agricultural feed stores and others that sell or display chicks, ducklings and other live poultry should provide health-related information to owners and potential purchasers of these birds prior to the point of purchase, adds CDC. This should include information about the risk of acquiring a Salmonella infection from contact with live poultry.

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