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Hey, Don't Cuddle Your Backyard Chickens, Experts Warn

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If you and your family have plans to visit a farm soon or own chickens yourself, it's time to cut back on the cuddling and perhaps invest in some stuffed animals instead. There is some big news brewing if you have friends or family who live on a farm, or own chickens yourself, it's time to listen up to a very important warning just released by the Center for Disease Control.

The CDC recently released a very important statement sharing that there is currently a Salmonella outbreak happening that we all need to be paying attention to. According to their report, twenty one states have been impacted by the outbreak with five (19%) people being hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Furthermore, 28% of ill people were children younger than 5 years.

In addition, they have narrowed down a culprit for the outbreak: backyard poultry — like chickens and ducklings. Yes, they have evidence that reports to backyard flock owners and caution that the birds can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.

So if you have little ones who like to cuddle your animals, you will want to make sure that they take a little break for now.  The CDC is also urging everyone to make sure they wash their hands after being around these birds (hand sanitizer will work, too, if soap and water aren't available) and to not let backyard poultry inside your home. In addition, it's advised to have a specific pair of shoes that you wear only whenever you are around the birds and anyone with a weakened immune system (especially young children and the elderly) should refrain from being around the birds at all.

And of course, no cuddling the birds at all.

Lastly, if you, friends or family have been around chickens recently, it's important to look out for signs of Salmonella. People who have been infected with it will most likely show symptoms within twelve to seventy-two hours after being exposed to the bacteria and  develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. It will usually last four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.

READ NEXT: CDC Issues Strong Warning After Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Melons

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