Five Oregon cases of salmonella have been identified by public health officials, with the source of the outbreak being traced to baby chicks from a Washington hatchery. Residents in the states of Washington and Idaho have also been affected.

Some people who were infected reported that they did not handle chicks directly, but had worked or passed through rooms where chicks were kept. Baby chicks, usually sold by mail order or in feed stores, have been repeatedly identified as the source of salmonellosis outbreaks.

Thorough hand washing with soap and warm water is the most important way to prevent salmonella or other infections, said Emilio DeBess, a public health veterinarian for the State of Oregon. He also recommends that children be supervised so they do not nuzzle or kiss chicks or other fowl.