May 21, 2019

Salmonella Outbreak is 4th in 4 Years for Mail Order Hatchery

A Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 300 people in 42 states and Puerto Rico is the fourth in four years to be linked to Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, a mail order hatchery in Ohio. In each of the outbreaks, many of those sickened have been children under ten.  Two people died.

Salmonella BacteriaAll of the outbreaks included multiple strains. An all of them had large numbers of sick children. So far, seven strains of Salmonella have been identified in outbreaks linked to the mail order chicks and ducks. The current outbreak has three strains:  Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hadar. About 37 percent of the cases are children or younger.

In 2013, 158 people in 30 states were sickened by four strains: Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Lille, Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Mbandaka. Forty one percent of those case patients were children.

In 2012, 195 people in 27 states were sickened by three strains: Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Lille, and Salmonella Newport. Thirty three percent were children. Two deaths were reported.

In 2011, 96 illnesses in 25 states were reported. Thirty one percent of the case patients were 5 and under. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) referred to the source of this outbreak as “a mail order hatchery in Ohio,” but the Ohio Departments of Health and Agriculture named Mt Healthy as that hatchery.

To keep kids safe while maintaining backyard flocks, the CDC recommends that live poultry and any items used to care for the birds remain outside. Those caring for flocks should wash hands thoroughly after handling or feeding the birds.  Children should not cuddle or kiss the birds. Children 5 and up should be supervised during contact with the birds and during hand washing. And children under five should have no contact with the animals.

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