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FILE (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
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CDC: Please Don’t Kiss And Snuggle Your Backyard Chickens

FILE (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising backyard chicken owners to refrain from kissing their poultry.

The warning comes after a salmonella outbreak that has affected 1,003 people across 49 states, according to the CDC.

Twenty-nine percent of those people have been hospitalized, and 23% of them are children. Two deaths have been reported — one in Ohio and one in Texas.

Epidemiological and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with backyard poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries are the likely source of these outbreaks,” according to the CDC’s warning.

The CDC offered some tips to keep backyard poultry owners safe:

  • Don’t let backyard poultry inside the house, especially in areas where food and drink are prepared, served or stored
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and store them outside of the house
  • Children younger than 5, adults aged 65 and older, and people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness shouldn’t handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other poultry.
  • Don’t eat or drink where poultry live or roam.
  • Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
  • Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for poultry, such as cages, or feed or water containers.

People infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps between 12 – 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, the CDC reports. It can last between four – seven days, and some patients may need to be hospitalized.

Luckily, most people recover without treatment.

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