multistate outbreak of Salmonella linked to backyard chicks and ducklings has expanded to affect 39 people in 15 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.


A national mail-order hatchery, Feed Store Chain A, is implicated in the outbreak, which was first reported by the CDC in May.

Lab tests detected the Salmonella Altona outbreak bacteria on a chick and in the the yard of an ill person’s household in Ohio, as well as from three samples in chick and duckling displays at two of the company’s locations in North Carolina.

In its latest update report on the outbreak, the CDC said many of the illnesses began between Feb. 25 and May 23.  Nine people have been hospitalized due to severe symptoms. Forty-four percent of those sickened are 5 years of age or younger.

Eight people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella in Ohio; six in North Carolina; four in Kentucky and Pennsylvania; three in Maryland and Virginia; two in New York and Tennessee; and one in Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia, the CDC said.

Illneses that occurred after May 6 may not have been reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

The CDC’s advice to people who are raising poultry at home:

— Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.

— If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

— Clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house, such as cages or feed or water containers.

— Do not let children younger than 5 years of age, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.

— Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, or outdoor patios.

— Do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.


Outbreak map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention