The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn people to kiss or cuddle with chickens after a Salmonella outbreak that affected 52 people in several states.
The CDC and the health authorities have linked a widespread outbreak of Salmonella infections to be contacted with "backyard poultry".
According to the agency, 52 cases have been reported in 21 states since 10 May, with Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania showing the largest numbers. The outbreak started sometime in January, and among the victims were children under one year, the CDC said
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The CDC issued a list of precautionary measures that the public should take when handling the animals to avoid infection with the disease.
"Do not kisses backyard poultry and do not cuddle them and then touch your face or your mouth," it says in a tip.
Other tips include having your hands washed after touching a backyard herd and not leaving the birds in the house. Especially in areas where food or drink is prepared.
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Symptoms of Salmonella include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps up to 72 hours after contact with the bacteria. Once infected, the disease takes 4-7 days, according to the CDC, with the worst cases requiring hospitalization.