CDC Warns Chicken Owners Not to 'Kiss' or 'Snuggle' Animals Amid Salmonella Outbreak

The outbreak has affected 52 people in 21 states

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Leave the cuddling to your stuffed animals.

The Centers for Disease Control is urging chicken owners to take extra precautions around their backyard pets amid a Salmonella outbreak that’s infected more than 50 people.

The CDC said in a statement that it’s investigating outbreaks in 21 states, with evidence indicating that backyard poultry — like chickens and ducklings — are the likely culprits.

As of mid-May, 52 people have been infected and five were admitted to the hospital. No deaths have been reported.

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The CDC encourages those at risk to not kiss or snuggle the animals, and to keep them outdoors and away from children under 5 and adults over 65.

The agency is also urging people to wash their hands with soap and water after touching chickens.

Salmonella typically lasts between four and seven days, and symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps that emerge 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

It’s not the first time the CDC has urged pet owners to be careful; in January, it linked pet hedgehogs to an outbreak, and warned owners not to cuddle their pets because is spreads germs.

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