In response to the Salmonella Montevideo outbreak linked to live poultry, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has issued a health advisory urging all veterinarians, health officials and medical professionals to disseminate information within their communities that will help prevent the spread of the outbreak.
So far, 66 people in 20 states have contracted Salmonella Montevideo infections from handling live chicks or ducks from Estes Hatchery in Springfield, MO, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Five of them are from Nebraska. In at least 16 cases, those who became ill were so sick they required hospitalization and about 35 percent of those sickened have been children under 10.
This outbreak, announced by the CDC June 25, comes just weeks after a another Salmonella outbreak linked to live chicks and ducks. On June 7, the CDC announced that 123 people in 25 states had contracted Salmonella infections from three strains – Newport, Infantis and Lille that were all linked to chicks and ducks from an Ohio mail-order hatchery called Mt Healthy Hatchery. One person from Nebraska is among those sickened in that outbreak.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping which usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure and last four to seven days. In some cases, the diarrhea can be so severe that it causes dehydration and hospiatlization is required. Most at risk are young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
The Nebraska health advisory reminds everyone to:
- Prohibit very small children from handling live poultry.
- Wash hand thoroughly with soap and water after handling live poultry.
- Supervise children washing their hands after handling live poultry.
- Use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not immediately possible after handling live poultry.
- Clean any materials used to care for live poultry outside the house.
- Keep live poultry out of the house.
- Refrain from eating or drinking around live poultry and from snuggling with it.