HOUSTON, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Health authorities in the U.S. state of New Mexico on Monday announced the finding of a strain of salmonella that matches the one detected in a national outbreak.
The strain of salmonella, which has infected 316 people in 37 states, was found in a duck pen at Privett Hatchery in eastern New Mexico, the state Department of Health said in a press release.
The hatchery supplies baby chicks, ducklings, and other live baby poultry to feed stores and mail order customers who keep them as pets or raise them for eggs or meat.
Among the 316 cases across the United States, around 60 percent are children aged 10 or younger. No deaths have been reported, but at least 51 people have been hospitalized.
Investigators have linked the outbreak of human salmonella infections to contact with chicks, ducklings and other live baby poultry purchased from multiple feed stores.
Salmonella infection can occur when parents keep the baby poultry inside the house and allow their small children to handle and snuggle with them. Parents may also bring salmonella into the house if they do not wash their hands properly after handling the birds outside.
Early symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain. These symptoms develop one to three days after exposure to baby chicks and their droppings. Other symptoms might include nausea, chills or headaches.