Canada investigates salmonellosis outbreak
The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating 34 cases of salmonellosis diagnosed in the Provinces of Alberta (17 cases), British Columbia (13) and Saskatchewan (4). The infection has been traced back to a specific hatchery in Alberta, although no serotype has been reported.
This outbreak attributed to contact with baby chicks is reminiscent of the cases of salmonellosis attributed to inappropriately named, Mount Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, extending over many years.
Small-scale hatcheries supplying chicks, ducklings and poults to the backyard poultry market represent a public health hazard unless appropriate hygiene and monitoring of parent stock and hatchery operations are implemented.
Purchasers of chicks and other poultry should exercise appropriate care to prevent infection of children who are susceptible to Salmonella serotypes and Campylobacter spp. frequently with severe results. Generally after a month, development of normal intestinal flora in chicks inhibits shedding of Salmonella spp.
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