CINCINNATI -- A serious outbreak of salmonella has been traced back to the Tri-State.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 60 people have been infected as of Wednesday.
No deaths have been reported but about 31 percent of victims have been hospitalized.
The CDC traced the outbreak back to live poultry at Mt. Healthy Hatcheries.
Cases involving this particular strain have been reported in 23 states including: Alabama (1), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (2), Georgia (2), Idaho (2), Indiana (1), Kentucky (6), Maine (1), Maryland (2), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (1), New York (6), North Carolina (3), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (3), Utah (1), Vermont (3), Virginia (3), Washington (1), and West Virginia (4).
Officials said the illnesses were first reported on Feb. 4 through April 21.
According to an official statement, 82 percent of the victims reported having contact with live poultry in the week before becoming ill.
The CDC said the same mail-order hatchery has been associated with outbreaks in 2012 and 2013.
Mt. Healthy Hatcheries issued a statement about the outbreak saying:
“Mt. Healthy Hatcheries shares concerns being raised about a Salmonella outbreak and illnesses related to this disease. It is our understanding that an investigation is ongoing, and that our hatcheries are believed to be a source of the outbreak.
“Mt. Healthy Hatcheries is working collaboratively with authorities at the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they proceed with their investigation.
“Because we work with many suppliers of hatching eggs and chicks, disease prevention is a top priority. Our hatcheries are working with USDA on a voluntary Salmonella reduction program, we have increased biosecurity measures, and we are continuing to obtain counsel from an outside expert to reduce the risks of Salmonella.
“We are committed to providing safe, healthy chicks for our customers. We also urge consumers who purchase chicks or other poultry to follow the CDC guidelines on proper care and safe handling of those animals. In addition, those guidelines are included with every purchase of chicks from Mt. Healthy and review of the guidelines for online orders is required prior to purchase.”
The agency said hatcheries and feed stores are supposed to provide health-related information when people purchase the livestock.
People are encouraged to always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam and to not let live poultry inside the home.