CDC is collaborating with public health and agriculture officials in many states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) to investigate a multistate outbreak of human Salmonella serotype Altona infections. As of May 25, 2011, a total of 25 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Altona have been reported from 11 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Indiana (1), Kentucky (3), Maryland (2), Minnesota (1), North Carolina (4), New York (1), Ohio (7), Pennsylvania (2), Tennessee (2), Virginia (1), and Vermont (1).
In May 2011, laboratory testing yielded Salmonella Altona bacteria from three samples from a chick and its environment collected from an ill person’s household in Ohio, and three environmental samples collected from chick and duckling displays at two locations of Feed Store Chain A in North Carolina. Findings of multiple traceback investigations of live chicks and ducklings from homes of ill persons have identified a single mail-order hatchery as the source of these chicks and ducklings.
Most persons infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection. Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. The illness usually lasts from 4 to 7 days. Although most people recover without treatment, severe infections may occur. Infants, elderly persons, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. When severe infection occurs, Salmonella bacteria may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.