7 Cases Identified as Salmonella Spreads from Chicks

US - State health officials have identified seven cases of salmonellosis in recent months that are associated with handling chicks or ducklings, prompting them to remind Minnesotans to wash hands thoroughly after handling baby poultry.
calendar icon 9 June 2008
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The Minnesota Department of Health said the cases occurred from late March through late May 2008 and ranged in age from 5 months to 70 years. Two of those who became ill, a 5-month old and a 42-year old, were hospitalized for 2 and 3 days, respectively.

All of the infections were caused by Salmonella Montevideo, which previously has been associated with chick contact. One of the individuals purchased chicks by mail order; the others purchased chicks or ducklings at a variety of poultry distributors throughout the state. While the cases shared the same type of Salmonella, any chick or duck can carry Salmonella of a variety of different types, according to Dr. Joni Scheftel, State Public Health Veterinarian at MDH.

“In a typical year, a handful of the approximately 700 Salmonella infections diagnosed in Minnesotans are linked to contact with chicks and ducklings,” Scheftel said. “However, young children are especially at risk and are also more likely to develop serious complications from Salmonella infections. So it’s important for people to be aware that if they’ve had or are having diarrhea with fever and have had contact with chicks or ducks, they should consult their health care provider.”

Further Reading

- For information on Salmonellosis in poultry click here.
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