There is an outbreak of Salmonella across the country, including Florida, and the CDC says they've connected the cases to "backyard flocks" of chickens.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 9 cases of Salmonella have been directly linked to backyard chickens in Florida so far in 2017.
The CDC says "backyard flocks" are growing in popularity, leading to more cases.
In 2016, a record 895 people came down with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cramps, and fevers -- three people died as a result of Salmonella after contact with chickens.
Cases of Salmonella linked to backyard flocks are on pace to meet or even exceed 2016's record numbers -- no one has yet died in 2017.
Many of the cases around the country are kids younger than 5 years old, often because kids are unlikely to know how to handle chicken eggs, and to follow safety precautions.
They're also the most likely to "snuggle" the sometimes cute baby chickens, leading to contamination.
In a new advisory on the current outbreaks, the CDC warns that letting chickens in your home is not a good idea, no matter how "cuddly" they may appear.
A couple easy warnings from the CDC should keep your family safe:
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry.
- Don't let kids younger than 5 years old handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without adult supervision.