The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been investigating outbreaks in 2011, 2012 and 2013 of salmonellosis associated with handling chicks and ducklings. Two rare strains of Salmonella were involved in outbreaks in 2011: Salmonella Altona and Salmonella Johannesburg. A total of 68 people in 20 states were infected with Salmonella Altona, and 19 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. A total of 28 people in 15 states were infected with Salmonella Johannesburg, and 22 were hospitalized. The outbreaks were traced to Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio.
In 2012,outbreaks involving a total of 5 strains of Salmonella were associated with handling chicks and ducklings.
As of August 9, 2013, the CDC has reported that a total of 307 people from 38 states have been infected with Salmonella typhimurium as a result of handling chicks, ducklings and other live baby poultry. One quarter of those infected have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. The majority (60%) of the infections have occurred in children 10 years of age or younger.
Animals, particularly poultry, reptiles and amphibians, and some animal feeds can be sources of Salmonella infection in people. Proper hygiene and sanitation are critical to preventing Salmonella infection associated with handling animals. The CDC recommends the following preventive measures when handling live poultry:
National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV):