Salmonella Cases Linked to New Mexico Poultry

Nine people from New Mexico and four other states have been reported with salmonella (search) infections in the past two months, and six of those cases are linked to young poultry from a New Mexico hatchery.

The state Health Department is not identifying the hatchery pending the completion of the investigation.

The department is collaborating with the Colorado Health and Environment Departments to investigate salmonella cases that have been reported in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Seven of the nine cases in March and April were in children age 1 or younger, the New Mexico agency said. Three of those with infections live in Taos, Roosevelt and Curry counties.

Symptoms of salmonella, which begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure, include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that usually last four days to a week.

The Health Department said most people recover without medication or treatment, but that young children can suffer from more severe symptoms.

Human salmonella infections occur when contaminated food, hands or other objects are placed in the mouth.

Health officials recommend that young children avoid contact with poultry and that people who handle baby chicks, ducks or other poultry thoroughly wash their hands with soup and water afterward. Poultry also should be kept outdoors in an area separate from young children or sources of food.