chickens salmonella map.jpgAs of May 25, 2012, a total of 93 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille have been reported from 23 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (3), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Maine (2), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (9), New York (13), Ohio (26), Pennsylvania (9), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (4), Texas (1), Virginia (6), Vermont (1), and West Virginia (1).

Among the persons who reported the date they became ill, illnesses began between March 1, 2012 and May 19, 2012. Infected individuals range in age from less than one year old to 100 years old, and 37% of ill persons are 10 years of age or younger. Fifty-one percent of ill persons are female. Among 36 ill persons with available information, 18 (50%) have been hospitalized. One death possibly related to this outbreak is under investigation.

In interviews, ill persons answered questions about contact with animals and foods consumed during the week before becoming ill. Thirty-seven (90%) of 41 ill persons interviewed reported contact with live chicks and ducklings before becoming ill. Thirty-two (100%) of 32 ill persons with available vendor information reported purchasing chicks and ducklings. Ill persons reported purchasing live poultry for backyard flocks to produce eggs or meat, or to keep as pets.

State health departments have tested chick and duckling samples collected from ill persons’ homes. Four chick and duckling samples from different homes in Ohio and New York yielded the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille.

Findings of multiple traceback investigations of live chicks and ducklings from homes of ill persons have identified a single mail-order hatchery in Ohio as the source of these chicks and ducklings. This is the same mail-order hatchery that was associated with the 2011 outbreak of Salmonella Altona and Salmonella Johannesburg infections. In May 2012, veterinarians from the Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected the mail-order hatchery and made recommendations for improvement.