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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Multi-State Outbreaks of Salmonellosis Associated with Baby Poultry from Hatcheries – Three States, 2006

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Salmonellosis is a serious illness that can be transmitted to people through contact with chicks and other baby poultry purchased as pets. During 2006, state health departments notified CDC of three outbreaks of Salmonella species infections in persons who had been in contact with baby poultry (chicks, ducklings, goslings, and others) purchased at agricultural feed stores. The feed stores received the poultry from hatcheries, and each of the three outbreaks had a hatchery to which it was traced. For decades, baby poultry, particularly chicks and ducklings, have been known to be a source of salmonellosis. Recently the source of birds associated with salmonellosis outbreaks been traced back to a hatchery. Investigations of these outbreaks show that many persons who purchase baby poultry remain unaware that handling these birds puts persons at risk for salmonellosis, especially children. During springtime and the Easter season it is important to remember that children are more susceptible to infection from baby chicks and young ducklings because they are more likely than others to put their fingers into their mouths and because their immune systems are still developing. Persons should be educated on how to avoid contact with bird feces and should wash their hands with soap and warm water after handling baby poultry or anything that has been in contact with them. Additionally, children younger than five years of age should not be allowed to handle baby chicks or other baby birds.

Chikungunya Fever Diagnosed among International Travelers – United States, 2005-2006

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During 2005-2006, an epidemic of Chikungunya (CHIK) fever occurred on islands in the Indian Ocean and in India, resulting in millions of clinically suspected cases, mainly in southern India. In the United States, CHIK fever has been diagnosed in travelers from abroad. This report of 26 additional cases with onset in 2006 underscores the importance of recognizing such cases among travelers. Chikungunya fever is a viral disease acquired by humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Public health officials also are encouraged to remain vigilant for any evidence of indigenous U.S. transmission of CHIK virus.

Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication – Nigeria, 2005-2006

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During 2006, Nigerian authorities and partners implemented new strategies (e.g. offering a better polio vaccine along with other health benefits) to address the resurgence of polio in the country. If efforts to improve vaccination coverage continue during 2007, the country will progress towards polio eradication. The majority of the world’s 2,000 cases of polio in 2006 were reported by Nigeria. Some northern states of Nigeria stopped vaccination in 2003-4 due to suspicions about the polio vaccine, resulting in chronically low vaccination coverage. This, along with poor quality mass campaigns, led to ongoing poliovirus transmission there. Health authorities in Nigeria initiated major innovations in 2006, including using a more effective vaccine and changing the way that campaigns were implemented. The newly organized Immunization Plus Days offered supplemental health benefits (e.g., de-worming medication and other immunizations) in addition to the polio vaccine and improved health worker interaction with local communities. During 2005-6, there was a significant reduction in the number of unvaccinated children. The continuation and expansion of Immunization Plus Days, if implemented well, should ensure progress towards the goal of polio eradication in Nigeria.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: March 29, 2007
  • Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
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