November 28, 2021

Pets Were The Cause of Five Salmonella Outbreaks In 2012

Five multi-state Salmonella outbreaks were caused by contact with pets during 2012. Most of those sickened in these outbreaks were children.

Dog-and-CatLive poultry has been the source of more than 35 Salmonella outbreaks since 1990. In 2012, mail-order chicks and ducks, purchased as pets or to start backyard flocks were the source of three outbreaks that sickened a total of 334 people. Live poultry is often infected with Salmonella which can be transmitted by handling the animals and then touching the face or eating before washing hands. Young children are often infected because they like to snuggle or  kiss the small animals.

One of these outbreaks during 2012 , linked to mail-order chicks and ducks from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio,  involved three different strains of Salmonella: Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille sickened 195 people. One third of the case patients required hospitalization. Two people died. The outbreak affected residents in 27 states. By state the case count  was follows: Alabama (4), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (5), Illinois (4), Indiana (6), Kansas (1), Kentucky (11), Louisiana (1), Maryland (5), Maine (4), Massachusetts (7), Michigan (2), North Carolina (15), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (5), New York (23), Ohio (42), Pennsylvania (16), Rhode Island (2), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (11), Texas (2), Virginia (9), Vermont (3), and West Virginia (11).

Another Salmonella outbreak linked to chicks and ducks produced by  Estes Hatchery in Springfield, Missouri sickened  93 people in 23 states and  Puerto Rico. Twenty one people were hospitalized. Children 10 and under accounted for 38 percent of those sickened. By state the case count was as follows: Alaska (1), California (4), Colorado (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Illinois (3), Indiana (10), Iowa (2), Kansas (15), Kentucky (2), Massachusetts (2), Missouri (28), Nebraska (8), Nevada (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (5), South Dakota (1), Texas (1), Vermont (1), West Virginia (1), Wyoming (1), and Puerto Rico (1).

A third chicks and ducks outbreaks sickened 46 people in  11 states.  Thirty percent of those sickened were children under ten. Thirteen people were hospitalized. By state the case count was as follows: Arizona (2), California (2), Colorado (5), Idaho (6), Illinois (4), Oregon (6), Tennessee (2), Texas (1), Utah (6), Washington (10), and Wyoming (2).

African pygmy hedgehogs were the source of a September Salmonella outbreak that sickened 14 people in six states half of whom were children. By state, the case count was as follows: Alabama (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (2), Ohio (2), and Washington (5).

Finally, pet turtles sickened 248  people  in 34 states almost 70 percent of whom were children. Three outbreak strains: Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona, and Salmonella Poona were reported. By state, the case count was as follows: Alabama (2), Alaska (2), Arizona (6), Arkansas (2), California (56), Colorado (6), Delaware (3), Georgia (7), Illinois (5), Indiana (1), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (3), Maryland (7), Massachusetts (5), Michigan (3), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), Missouri (2), Nevada (9), New Jersey (11), New Mexico (10), New York (30), North Carolina (3), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (20), South Carolina (6), Tennessee (5), Texas (26), Vermont (1), Virginia (5), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (3).

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