At least four patients in South Dakota — three adults and one child under the age of four — have fallen ill in connection to the outbreak.
The Salmonella bacteria in all four South Dakota cases share the same genetic fingerprint, and some of the patients have had direct contact with baby chicks, state health department spokesman Lon Kightlinger told Food Safety News Monday morning.
The cases came from different parts of the state, and Kightlinger said it was not immediately clear if the chicks involved originated from the same hatchery.
Kightlinger said that South Dakota’s cases are linked to cases in other states. CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell told Food Safety News that the agency is investigating the outbreak, but is not yet ready to report anything.
Poultry and other animals may carry Salmonella or other bacteria that can be spread to humans. Health professionals advise those who handle baby chicks to wash their hands immediately after contact, and to take special caution with small children, as children have weaker immune systems especially susceptible to harmful pathogens.
Last month, Food Safety News produced a video on safe handling of baby chicks in anticipation of chick season. Watch that video below:© Food Safety News