By HealthDay Staff
FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) ---- More than 300 people in 37 states have been sickened to date in a major multistate outbreak of salmonella infection linked to baby poultry, U.S. government health officials reported Friday.
The report showed that 307 people have become infected with Salmonella Typhimurium, and that 60 percent of them were children aged 10 or younger.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a news release, said "Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have linked this outbreak ..... to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live baby poultry purchased from multiple feed stores and sourced from multiple mail-order hatcheries."
According to the CDC, the number of ill persons identified in each state was: Alabama (1), Arizona (7), California (9), Colorado (37) Florida (5), Georgia (4), Idaho (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (10), Iowa (7), Kansas (15), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (9), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (3), Mississippi (6), Missouri (18), Montana (2), Nebraska (14), Nevada (1), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (16), New York (17), North Dakota (5), Oklahoma (15), Oregon (10), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (2), Texas (32), Utah (10), Vermont (1), Washington (19), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (5), and Wyoming (4).
The CDC also said that among the 193 sickened persons with available information, 25 percent have been hospitalized.
The earliest date of reported illness associated with this six-month outbreak was March 4. But efforts to determine the ultimate source of the infected poultry have been challenging because of the complicated distribution network for these birds, the CDC said.
To guard against infection, the agency urged consumers to always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.