CDC Warns Against Kissing Chickens As Salmonella Outbreaks Increase

By Al Macias
Published: Monday, September 19, 2016 - 10:23am
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Poultry–associated salmonella outbreaks can be linked to backyard poultry flocks.

Here’s a health advisory you may not have expected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): don’t kiss your pet chicken.

According to a new study by the CDC, the number of cases of salmonella contracted by live-poultry has been steadily increasing due to the increased number of people raising chickens at their home.

The study showed the number of poultry-related salmonella outbreaks reported annually has increased substantially in recent years. From 1990 to 2005 there were a total of 17 documented outbreaks. From 2006 to 2014 that figure jumped to 36.

Public health officials said the increased number of live poultry–associated salmonella outbreaks can be linked to backyard poultry flocks that are affecting adults and children.

The CDC report said the finding is possibly attributable to the fact that children’s immune systems are not fully developed and that young children typically have poor hand hygiene practices. The study identified high-risk behaviors included keeping poultry inside the house and having close contact, such as holding, snuggling or kissing poultry.