ATLANTA – An outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to live baby poultry has grown to 300 cases as of Aug. 5 from 60 on May 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. The poultry was sourced from an Ohio-based hatchery associated with multiple outbreaks of Salmonella infections.
The cases involve outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport or Salmonella Hadar, according to CDC. An investigation by public health officials linked the outbreak to contact with chicks, ducklings and other live poultry sourced from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio. CDC first reported the illnesses in May when at least 60 individuals were infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis or Salmonella Newport. Mt. Healthy Hatcheries has been associated with Salmonella infections linked to live poultry in 2012 and 2013, CDC noted.
Illnesses have been reported from 42 states and Puerto Rico. The illnesses began between Feb. 3 and July 10. No deaths have been reported, but 64 individuals have been hospitalized, CDC said.
In its most recent update on the outbreak, CDC said samples from live poultry and their surroundings where they live and roam were collected from infected individuals' homes in Vermont and Virginia. Tests of the samples yielded two of the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis.
In a public health alert released in May, CDC said Mt. Healthy Hatcheries used multiple source flocks to obtain eggs and chicks making it unclear where the contamination originated.
"This hatchery is a member of the USDA National Poultry Improvement Plan, a program that is intended to eliminate certain strains of Salmonella that cause illness in poultry breeding flocks and hatcheries, but does not certify that these live poultry are free from other strains of Salmonella that may cause human illness," CDC stated in the alert.