CDC warns against snuggling, hugging, or kissing your precious chickens

Illustration for article titled CDC warns against snuggling, hugging, or kissing your precious chickens

Photo: Stephen Simpson (fake pictures)

On May 20, the CDC announced that they had been investigating a salmonella outbreak in people who had contact with backyard chickens, with 97 people confirmed to be infected. Now, just five weeks later on this damn timeline, CDC reports 368 more people have been infected, 86 have been hospitalized and one of them has died.

This is not the first time that the CDC Chicken Salmonella Rodeo in the Backyard, and this is not the first time that the agency has warned people about the dangers of homegrown poultry, either. The Salmonella bacteria is commonly found in the intestinal tract of chickens and does not cause disease in birds. When chickens poop, that bacteria takes over everything: eggs, feathers, grass, and anything else that wants to defecate. The interest in backyard chickens has exploded in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps because people want to get at least a rudimentary knowledge of poultry farming in case we get into some kind of post-apocalyptic life situation.

Investigating this specific outbreak, the CDC found that a large percentage of those infected reported contact with chicks obtained from farm shops, websites, and hatcheries. As such, the agency would like to remind chicken lovers, young and old, to always remember not to kiss or snuggle with their precious birds, no matter how adorable they are, and to refer to their guide to raising poultry safely to prevent future salmonella outbreaks.