The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that over 900 people have gotten salmonella poisoning, but it didn't come from eating undercooked poultry. Instead, they likely got sick after interacting with chickens and ducklings.
A growing number of people are keeping chicken as pets, and many people raise them as a source of eggs and meat. The CDC said that it is possible to contract salmonella just from interacting with the animals.
"You can get sick with a Salmonella infection from touching backyard poultry or their environment. Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean and show no signs of illness," the agency said.
"Don't kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth."
The best way to prevent yourself from getting sick is by washing your hands after touching the animals.
While salmonella outbreaks are common in the spring and early summer, the CDC said that this year's outbreak is worse than usual. Cases nearly doubled in July, with 473 reports of salmonella poisoning, bringing the total for 2020 to 938. 151 of the patients required hospitalization, and one person has died.
The outbreak has been reported in 48 states, with the most cases reported in Tennessee and Kentucky. Only Rhode Island and Hawaii have not reported any cases.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. They can last up to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.
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