They may look cute and cuddly, but your backyard chickens, ducks and their babies could make you sick.
According to the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 212 salmonella cases in 44 states have been "linked to contact with live poultry in backyard herds".
>> At CDC.gov: Read the Full Report Here  Since July 13, 34 people have been hospitalized in connection with the outbreaks since February, the CDC reported Monday. Nobody died.
About 26 percent of those affected are children under the age of 5, the CDC said.
According to the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 212 salmonella cases in 44 states have been linked to contact live poultry in backyard herds. "
"Epidemiological, traceability, and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from several hatcheries," the CDC said, adding that 72 percent of those interviewed had "contact with chicks or Ducklings the week before the onset of their illness. "
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Health officials warn anyone who comes into contact with live poultry to wash their hands and avoid food and drink immediately of the birds.
Another tip? "Do not kisses your birds, do not cuddle them and then touch your face or your mouth," the CDC said.
Here are more tips.