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article imageChicken hatchery linked to U.S. Salmonella outbreak

By Tim Sandle     Aug 22, 2013 in Health
A Salmonella outbreak which has led to more than 300 people becoming ill, across the U.S., has been linked to a hatchery in New Mexico that sells live baby chickens, ducks and other poultry by mail.
Privett Hatchery in Portoles, New Mexico, has been identified as a source of the outbreak of a bacterial infection called Salmonella Typhimurium. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the hatchery contamination has infected 316 people in 37 U.S. states.
The CDC has reported that there have been 51 hospitalizations as a result of people coming into contact with infected poultry, between March 4 and July 28, 2013. The outbreak has affected people from 87 years old to less than one year old; however, 59 percent of infections have occurred in persons 10 years old or younger.
The CDC state that it is likely that the children played with or handled the baby birds and did not wash their hands afterward. Most of the other people have become sick through consuming the infected poultry, Nature World notes. USA Today adds that many have bought baby chickens and other poultry to keep as pets or raise the birds for eggs or meat from the area.
Commenting on the issue, Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, said: "I want to emphasize how cooperative the hatchery has been in helping to identify the source of this outbreak by working with officials from numerous agencies. Privett Hatchery was willing to conduct multiple tests. he Department wants to remind parents not to keep live baby poultry in their homes. Any time anyone handles baby ducklings or chicks, they need to wash their hands thoroughly to reduce the risk of contracting Salmonella."
Food poisoning caused by Salmonella bacteria causes tens of thousands of cases in most countries every year. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts four to seven days. It is hoped that medics will one day be able to control or prevent gastrointestinal infection by varying the chemical balance in the human body.
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