Published Date: 2005-06-15 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> Salmonellosis, Easter chicks - USA (multistate)(02)
Archive Number: 20050615.1677
SALMONELLOSIS, EASTER CHICKS - USA (MULTISTATE) (02)
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 15 Jun 2005
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Portales (NM) News-Tribune [edited]
Salmonella outbreak linked to state hatchery
17 cases of salmonella infection in the Southwest USA since April 2005 have
been linked to a single New Mexico hatchery, according to the New Mexico
Department of Health. Department of Health Public Information Officer
Deborah Davis declined to release the name of the hatchery or where it is
located, because she said the department was concerned with harming the
business. She said salmonella is a naturally occurring bacteria in poultry
and could be found in any bird at any poultry farm.
"We are working with (the hatchery) on educating the public about
salmonella poisoning," Davis said. "Salmonella is not uncommon. It could
happen to anyone and come from any hatchery."
State Public Health Veterinarian Paul Ettestad said all salmonella cases
reported to the state are investigated to find the source of the outbreak.
He said a few children with the illness had been hospitalized, but have
since returned home. No deaths have been reported. Health officials said
they have provided education to officials at the hatchery involved and to
the public on preventing the spread of the bacteria.
Ettestad said the department's investigation traced the outbreak to baby
chicks purchased from feed stores from January 2005 to Easter. "Most cases
were found in children one year of age and younger that contracted
salmonella," he said. "We found that parents were allowing these baby
chicks in the confines of their home and around their children, not knowing
that they could contract the bacteria this way."
Health departments in several states started the investigation. Initially,
there were 9 cases being investigated, according to a press release from
the New Mexico Department of Health. 25 cases of poisoning have been
reported in 14 states thus far, Davis said. There is one case each in Curry
and Roosevelt counties. Officials said the public should not be alarmed but
suggested taking precautions when handling and cooking poultry.
[Byline: Leslie Radford]