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Poultry Hatchery Tied to the Recent Salmonella Outbreak

Update Date: Aug 20, 2013 11:44 AM EDT

According to state health officials, the recent salmonella outbreak in the United States has been traced back to a New Mexico hatchery. The Privett Hatchery, located in the eastern part of the state in Portales, sells live baby chicks, ducks and other types of poultry through the mail. At this location, officials reported discovering a strain of salmonella in a duck pen.

This recent salmonella outbreak has left over 300 people infected in 37 states, according to the state Department of Health. Although the infection has not killed anyone, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 51 people were hospitalized. Of the total number of infected people, around three-fifths of them were children under the age of 10. Since March, the outbreak has spread throughout the country. The state with the highest reported number of cases of 37 is Colorado. Texas' number is currently at 32. People often buy live poultry to raise for eggs or for meat.

Although officials have identified Privett Hatchery as the source of the salmonella outbreak, the information acquired about the infection suggests that more hatcheries might be involved. The state public health veterinarian, Paul Ettestad explained that even though the New Mexico Hatchery is most likely the cause of the outbreak, federal officials have tied several cases to other hatcheries in other states. The reports have found that the infected people bought live baby poultry from 113 feed store locations that mail ordered their produce from18 hatcheries in several states.

The Privett Hatchery has agreed to work with the state as well as with federal officials as the CDC continues its investigation. The hatchery has momentarily stopped selling its poultry from the pen where officials detected the salmonella strain. The birds will now all receive a vaccine.

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