According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the Scientific Laboratory Division has identified the source of national Salmonella outbreak. An environmental sample from the Privett poultry hatchery in Portales matches the Salmonella strain causing a nationwide outbreak in people. The hatchery provides ducklings, baby chicks and other live baby birds to stores and mail order customers across the United States.
At this time 316 people from 37 states have been infected. Most of the cases affect children 10 years and younger. No deaths have been reported but several have been hospitalized.
In a statement on the Privett hatchery website the company said that they are working with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they continue their investigation and that providing safe and healthy poultry is their top priority.
Salmonella symptoms include fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The symptoms can begin several days after exposure to the strain and may include other symptoms such as chills, headaches and nausea.
The New Mexico Department of Health recommends that people take the necessary precautions.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching live
baby birds or anything in the area where they live and roam. Use hand sanitizer if soap
and water are not readily available and your hands are not visibly soiled.
Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
Don't snuggle or kiss baby birds.
Don't touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live baby poultry.
Don't let baby birds inside the house or in areas where food or drink is prepared, served,
or stored, such as kitchens, dining rooms, pantries, and outdoor patios
Don't clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry
(such as cages, feed, and water containers) in the house.
Do not let children younger than five years old touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.
Visit your physician if you experience abdominal pain, fever and/or diarrhea.
To learn more about this outbreak and tips for decreasing your risk of getting Salmonella
infection from live baby poultry, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.