The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has recommended people not to kiss chickens, as it could lead to contracting the salmonella.
On Wednesday, the CDC released a study that touches upon the increasing popularity of backyard chicken raising across the United States. It noted there is an increase in salmonella outbreaks associated with live poultry.
The agency further said that some people got involved in risky behavior, including cuddling, kissing, and allowing their chickens to roam bathrooms and bedrooms.
Live-poultry associated salmonella, or LPAS, afflicted more than 180 in 2015, the latest CDC study said.
“High-risk practices included keeping poultry inside households (46% of case-patients) and kissing birds (13%),” the CDC said.
The CDC added that “poultry are acquiring a new position in many households. Instead of being treated as production animals, they are increasingly being considered household pets.”
“However, recurring LPAS outbreaks highlight the need for strategies to prevent human illnesses associated with live poultry contact,” it said, adding that “poultry should never be allowed inside the house.”
The study further found that between 1990 and 2014, there were about 53 outbreaks of LPAS that left 2,630 people sickened, left 387 hospitalized, and killed five. On average, one outbreak took place each year from 1990 to 2005. Between 2005 and 2014, there were about four outbreaks per year.