Kissing & cuddling chickens bad for your health — CDC

© Darren Staples
Showing too much affection towards chickens could lead to contracting salmonella, warns a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Meanwhile, “backyard poultry flocks” are increasing in popularity.

The increased love for our feathered friends coincides with a rise in salmonella outbreaks associated with live poultry in the US, according to a CDC report analyzing ive poultry-associated salmonellosis (LPAS) cases from 1990 to 2014.

The study says that LPAS spikes occur when those affected get too up close and personal with the birds. Cuddling, kissing and in some incidents even allowing their chickens to roam in their bedrooms and bathrooms were cited.

Historically, outbreaks start around Easter, when more children interact with poultry. But over the years, these outbreaks lasted longer, as chickens and ducklings became more popular pets, even colored to make them more attractive.

READ MORE: Armadillos spread leprosy & other reasons canoodling with cute critters could kill you

LPAS was contracted by over 180 people last year, while in 2012, there were around 150 cases during a six-month period when outbreaks peaked, the CDC said.

From the CDC samples, 62 percent of patients said they had been in close proximity with baby poultry, including chicks and ducklings. From the 62 percent, 49 percent admitted to cuddling baby poultry, 46 percent said they let them roam freely in their homes and 13 percent reported kissing baby poultry.

“Poultry are acquiring a new position in many households,” the report confirmed. ”Instead of being treated as production animals, they are increasingly being considered household pets.”

READ MORE: Bill Gates plans to end poverty one chicken at a time (VIDEO)

The body warned against the “emerging public health trend” and said, “poultry should never be allowed inside the house,” adding that around half of those showing the birds affection had owned their birds for a year or less, suggesting they were inexperienced.

The CDC, however, did not fully advise against keeping poultry but suggested owners, especially children, regularly wash their hands and be more aware of the risks.

In the meantime, one Twitter user suggested an alternative to kissing chickens.