Three cases of salmonellosis have been linked to ducklings purchased from Tractor Supply Company in Inver Grove Heights, the Minnesota Department of Health reported.  The cases are part of a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis being investigated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ill Minnesotans were age 18 to 60. All three cases were caused by Salmonella Infantis, which has been previously associated with poultry. The cases occurred from late March through early April.

MDH State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Joni Scheftel said the outbreak underscores the importance of washing hands thoroughly after handling chicks, ducklings or other birds.

People typically get salmonella from poultry by hand-to-mouth contact. Usually this happens when people handle birds or objects in their environment and then accidentally touch their mouths or forget to wash their hands before eating or drinking. Salmonellosis can also be contracted by eating contaminated foods that have not been properly prepared and handled.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Some people are more susceptible to infection, including young children, pregnant women, the elderly, people on chemotherapy, diabetics, and others with weakened immune systems. Approximately 20 percent of cases reported to MDH are hospitalized.

Get more information from the Minnesota Department of Health.

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