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Minnesota: Ducklings purchased at a Tractor Supply Company store responsible for Salmonella outbreak

An outbreak of salmonellosis in Minnesota, which has affected at least three people, has been linked to ducklings bought at a Tractor Supply Company store in Inver Grove Heights, according to a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) news release yesterday.

Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould

Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould

Health department officials say that the three residents sickness ranged in age from 18 years to 60 years. All three cases were caused by Salmonella Infantis, which has been previously associated with poultry. The cases occurred from late March through early April 2013.

The MDH says the outbreak is part of a larger, multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis being investigated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

MDH State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Joni Scheftel said the outbreak underscores the importance of washing your hands thoroughly after handling chicks, ducklings or other birds.

“Chicks and ducklings can be a great attraction for children and families this time of year, but they can also be a source of illness,” Dr. Scheftel said. “That is why it is so important for people handling them to take steps to prevent infection.

Scheftel cautions, young children are especially at risk and are also more likely to develop serious complications from Salmonella infections.

The MDH offers the following recommendations to the public to prevent getting infected and sick:

  • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle poultry.
  • Supervise older children when handling poultry and make sure they wash their hands afterward.
  • Avoid nuzzling or kissing chicks, ducklings or other poultry.
  • Do not eat or drink around poultry or their living areas.
  • Keep poultry outside and especially out of areas where food is prepared.
  • Do not wash the birds’ food and water dishes in the kitchen sink.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling poultry or anything in their environment.

Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Children are especially susceptible because they frequently put their fingers into their mouths and because their immune systems are still developing.

In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Minnesota: 13 people sickened with salmonella linked to raw queso fresco - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] report come a day after the MDH reported on another Salmonella outbreak in people who bought ducklings from a local […]

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