Be cautious cuddling chickens CDC says

Published: May. 21, 2021 at 5:07 PM MDT|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 5:08 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The CDC recently announced that 163 people in 43 states were reported to have caught Salmonella, and a common thread is contact with backyard chickens.

Lots of folks have chickens in South Dakota, the Administrator of Rapid City Hens, Cody Brown, has an idea as to why.

“I grew up around farms in Nebraska. I’ve always had this inkling or wanting to have chickens,” says Brown. “So, there’s nutritional value. Eggs are healthy. Also, being neighborly. Having the ability to share eggs with neighbors. It’s a hobby, it can be stress relieving.”

A third of those who contracted the disease were children, and those younger than five or older than 65 are at risk for a more severe case. Of the 163 cases, 34 caused hospitalization. The CDC would like for people to be aware of ways to protect themselves.

If you’re not too chicken to hold onto one of the little critters, there’s a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you’re doing it safely. For example, don’t kiss or snuggle the birds.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after touching supplies or the animals directly, and don’t let children younger than five handle the birds.

Typical symptoms [of Salmonella] are diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. They take place anywhere between 6 hours and 6 days after exposure and last for four to seven days.

“They’re cute little birds and at the end of the day,” says Brown, “as long as you’re okay with possible getting you know what on, then it’s okay. Otherwise, you probably shouldn’t hold the chickens.”

If you are around chickens, do what you can to protect yourself.

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