WASHINGTON STATE – An outbreak of Salmonella poisoning is spreading throughout the country, US health officials said on July 28. More cases have been reported in Washington than any other state, according to KOMO News. To date, 37 people in 11 states have been infected with the same Salmonella strain that was linked to live poultry from an Idaho hatchery.
Due to the requests of state authorities, the hatchery has not been identified.
Nine of the infected persons are in Washington state. Two cases have also been reported in Arizona, one in California, three in Colorado, five in Idaho, two in Illinois, five in Oregon, two in Tennessee, one in Texas, five in Utah and two in Wyoming. Although no deaths have been attributed so far from the outbreak, eight victims have been hospitalized, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Thirty-seven percent of illnesses are in children 10 years old or younger.
Based on laboratory findings and investigations, the outbreak has been linked to contact with live poultry from a mail-order hatchery in Idaho that sells chicks, ducklings and other live poultry. The number of cases could increase over time because there is a delay of two or three weeks between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported, health officials added.
Approximately nine of 10 victims of the Salmonella outbreak reported contact with live poultry before becoming ill. Live poultry infected with Salmonella can appear healthy and clean, but still shed germs that can make people sick, CDC officials said.