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NH salmonella infections tied to national outbreak

August 12. 2014 9:45PM

CONCORD - Eleven people, ranging from an infant to a 69-year-old, were stricken with salmonella after being exposed to baby chicks purchased at local farm outlets supplied by Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, according to state health officials.The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, is alerting residents to the risks of Salmonella Enteritidis infection associated with exposure to chicks and other live poultry.As of Aug. 6, at least 11 residents had been infected with salmonella shortly after being exposed to chicks or chickens linked to the Ohio hatchery. In the majority of the cases, the chicks were being raised inside the home or in the back yard for meat or eggs.The residents became ill between March 29 and July 4, with the majority of cases occurring in late April and early May. Two patients were hospitalized, but all fully recovered.

All cases involved baby chicks purchased from different local farm supply stores supplied by Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio.“While this cluster of cases linked to a problem at a particular hatchery is concerning,” said Dr. José Montero, director of Public Health at DHHS, “unfortunately salmonella is always a risk with poultry. That is why we want to emphasize that people follow appropriate and consistent hygiene recommendations every time they come in contact with live poultry, whether or not it is chicks or adults, chickens or other types of poultry.”Poultry frequently carries bacteria, including salmonella, which can cause illness in humans.

Chickens and other poultry infected with salmonella usually do not appear sick. Typical symptoms in human are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These symptoms generally develop within one to three days of exposure and may last for up to a week.It is especially important to carefully wash hands with soap and water after handling poultry or anything that has come into contact with them.

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