The cases have been traced back to chicks purchased from Mt. Healthy Hatchery of Ohio. The same hatchery has experienced similar problems in 2012 and 2013.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include the following:
Most persons infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Children younger than 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection. (source: CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/live-poultry-05-14/signs-symptoms.html)
The CDC provides the following advice to poultry owners to protect them from possible infection:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, or outdoor patios.
- Children younger than 5 years of age, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry. Children younger than 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.
- Do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.
- Clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house, such as cages or feed or water containers.
- These recommendations are important and apply to all live poultry regardless of the age of the birds or where they were purchased.