Salmonellosis outbreaks linked to baby poultry exposure

NEW YORK - Three outbreaks of salmonellosis that occurred in the US in 2006 appear to have resulted from contact with baby poultry from hatcheries, according to a report released Thursday. This is the first year that more than one outbreak of the disease associated with baby poultry has been recognized.
calendar icon 30 March 2007
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Hand washing and not permitting young children to handle these animals are key measures in preventing future outbreaks, the report indicates.

Baby poultry, especially chicks and ducklings, are a well known source of salmonellosis, investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and elsewhere note in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for March 30.

The risk of salmonellosis is increased during springtime and the Easter season as many parents give chicks and ducklings as pets to their children. Children's propensity to put their fingers in their mouths coupled with their developing immune systems places them at higher risk than adults for developing the disease.

The 2006 outbreaks took place in Michigan, Nebraska, and Oregon. In all states, the outbreaks began around springtime and were traced to contact with baby poultry bought at agricultural feed stores. These feed stores were found to have received the animals from one hatchery in each of the states.

Source: Reuters

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