NH DHHS - Salmonella Infections in NH Linked to National Outbreak

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services alerts residents to the risks of

Salmonella Enteritidis infection associated with exposure to chicks and

other live poultry. As of August 6, 2014, at least 11 individuals in the

State have been infected with Salmonella shortly after exposure to chicks

or chickens. The majority of cases were raising chicks inside their home or

backyard for meat or eggs. The patients became ill between March 29 and

July 4, with the majority of cases occurring in late April and early May.

Patients range in age from 0 to 69, two were hospitalized, and all have

fully recovered.

All cases reported purchasing baby chicks from different local farm supply

stores that are all supplied by Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio. This

hatchery has been implicated in an ongoing multistate outbreak of

Salmonella as well as outbreaks in 2011 and 2012. For more information on

the multistate outbreak investigation go to


“While this cluster of cases linked to a problem at a particular hatchery

is concerning,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS,

“unfortunately Salmonella is always a risk with poultry. That is why we

want to emphasize that people follow appropriate and consistent hygiene

recommendations every time they come in contact with live poultry, whether

or not it is chicks or adults, chickens or other types of poultry.”

Poultry frequently carry bacteria, including Salmonella, which can cause

illness in humans. Chickens and other poultry infected with Salmonella

usually do not appear sick. Typical symptoms of Salmonella infection are

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These symptoms generally

develop within one to three days of exposure and may last for up to a week.

While anyone can become ill from exposure to these germs, the risk of

infection is especially high for children, the elderly, and persons with

weakened immune systems. These groups of people are also at risk for more

severe infections.

Salmonella lives in the intestines of infected chickens and can be shed in

the droppings. Baby chicks may be especially prone to shed these germs and

cause human illness due to the stress of shipping and adapting to many new

locations before they reach a permanent home. Once shed, bacteria can

spread across the chicken’s body as the bird cleans itself and throughout

the environment as the chicken walks around. Therefore, it is especially

important to carefully wash your hands with soap and water after handling

poultry or anything that has come into contact with them. If you ingest

Salmonella, you may become ill. People accidentally ingest Salmonella in

many ways, including eating after handling chickens or by touching their

hand to their mouth while working with the birds without washing their

hands thoroughly first. If handled properly, poultry should not pose a

Salmonella risk to people.

For more information on this national outbreak, visit