October 2, 2014

New Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Chicks and Ducklings From Estes Hatchery

The CDC has announced a new outbreak of Salmonella linked to baby chicks and ducklings. This outbreak strain, Salmonella Montevideo, is different from the outbreak caused by the three strains we reported on earlier this month. Sixty-six people in 20 states are sick with the outbreak strain of Salmonella; 16 have been hospitalized; and one death has been reported, but the Salmonella infection wasn’t a contributing factor in that person’s death.

The case count is distributed among the following states:

  • Alaska (1)
  • California (2)
  • Colorado (1)
  • Georgia (1)
  • Illinois (1)
  • Indiana (8)
  • Iowa (2)
  • Kansas (10)
  • Kentucky (1)
  • Massachusetts (1)
  • Missouri (22)
  • Nebraska (5)
  • Nevada (1)
  • New York (1)
  • North Carolina (1)
  • Ohio (1)
  • Oklahoma (4)
  • South Dakota (1)
  • Vermont (1)
  • Wyoming (1)

Lab and epidemiological findings have linked this outbreak to baby poultry from the Estes Hatchery in Springfield, Missouri. Mail-order hatcheries that sell chicks and other baby birds should always provide health information to anyone who purchases them, including the risks of acquiring infections and illnesses from live poultry.

Thirty-five percent of the patients are 10 years old or younger. Patients range in age from less than 1 year to 83 years old. Forty-six percent of the ill are female. The illnesses began between February 28, 2012 and June 6, 2012. There may be more people who are sickened in this outbreak; if someone became ill after June 21, 2012, their illness may not be reported.

Of the 46 patients interviewed, 39, or 85%, had contact with live poultry before becoming ill. Of those, 38, or 97%, had contact with chicks or ducklings or both.

State health departments have tested chicken samples. Four samples from homes in California, Kentucky, Missouri, and Vermont had the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo.

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