An outbreak affect 181 people may have been caused by people getting a bit too touchy-feely with chickens.
Authorities are reporting that the outbreak of a deadly salmonella virus has been attribute to people cuddling up with chickens.
Four outbreaks of the bug, which is transmitted from poultry to humans, has resulted in 181 people getting sick, and the strains have spread to 40 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as reported by the Mirror.
A total of 30 people have been hospitalized because of this outbreak, and 82 of the 95 people who contracted the virus and were interviewed said they had been in contact with poultry the week before the illness broke out.
In fact, authorities found that ill people had often purchased live poultry for their backyards to either produce eggs, provide meat, or to simply be pets. And many of these people even welcome the poultry into their homes or kissed and cuddled with them.
These behaviors can dramatically increase the risk of coming down with salmonella, authorities warn.
Keeping chickens as pets has become a growing trends in the United States, but many people don’t realize how dangerous such an activity can be. Salmonella is typically contracted by coming into contact with infected birds or consuming undercooked chicken or duck.
Symptoms of salmonellosis includes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, and they typically set in about 12 to 72 hours after infection, with the illness lasting up to a week. Most people recover without treatment, but it can prove necessary for hospitalization in severe cases, and older adults, infants, and those with compromised immune symptoms are at a particularly high risk. A small number can die from the disease.