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Ohio Mail-Order Hatchery Now Linked to Salmonella in 23 States

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Live chicks and ducklings from a mail-order hatchery in Ohio have been linked to a salmonella outbreak that had sickened 93 people in 23 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an update Thursday.

Eighteen people have been hospitalized and one death possibly related to the outbreak is under investigation. Among the reported cases so far, illnesses surfaced between March 1 and May 19. Infected people range in age from less than 1 year old to 100 years old, and 37 percent of those sickened are 10 or younger, the CDC said.

The reported cases are: Alabama (3), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Maine (2), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (9), New York (13), Ohio (26), Pennsylvania (9), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (4), Texas (1), Virginia (6), Vermont (1), and West Virginia (1).

The same mail-order hatchery linked to this outbreak was associated with a salmonella outbreak in 2011, said the CDC, which did not identify the hatchery. Ohio Department of Agriculture veterinarians inspected the hatchery this month and made recommendations for improvement.

To reduce the risk of salmonella infection, you should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam, the CDC advised.

The agency also said that mail-order hatcheries, agricultural feed stores, and other businesses that sell or display live poultry should provide health-related information to potential buyers of the birds. This information should include details about the risk of acquiring a salmonella infection from live poultry.

More information

The CDC has more about the risk of human salmonella infections from live baby poultry.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, May 31, 2012

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