The New Mexico Department of Health has confirmed seven Salmonella illnesses associated with live chicks and ducklings that appear to be connected to a multistate outbreak under investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Earlier this week, South Dakota and Minnesota confirmed four and three illnesses in the outbreak, respectively. Another six illnesses believed to be caused by live poultry have cropped up in Nebraska, but officials there have not confirmed a connection to the multistate outbreak.
A spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Health confirmed with Food Safety News that the state’s Salmonella illnesses were connected to the multistate outbreak.
A CDC spokeswoman told Food Safety News on Monday that the agency was investigating the outbreak, but was not prepared to make any announcements. As of Thursday, the agency has not made any further statements and it is unclear if more states are affected by the outbreak.
The New Mexico Department of Health warned against allowing live chicks or ducklings in homes, as they may spread harmful bacteria onto household surfaces. Health professionals recommend thoroughly washing hands after handling live poultry, and making sure young children do not snuggle or kiss birds.
Last month, Food Safety News produced a video on safe handling of chicks in anticipation of chick season. Watch that video below:© Food Safety News