The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has warned Americans against kissing or snuggling chickens due to a recent outbreak of salmonella.
CDC said 1,003 cases of salmonella, including two deaths, have been recorded across the US since the beginning of this year.
To avoid contracting the bacterial infection, the agency urged owners to always wash their hands with soap and water after touching backyard poultry, not let chickens inside the house and set aside a separate pair of shoes to wear while taking care of backyard birds.
In an advisory, CDC warned owners not to "kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth."
Although salmonella is typically transmitted by undercooked poultry, CDC said 67 percent of patients in the latest outbreak reported contact with backyard poultry.
“In addition six of the strains identified in this year's outbreaks were identified in samples collected from backyard poultry environments at homes in California, Minnesota, and Ohio,” CDC divulged.
Salmonella, a bacterial pathogen, can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.
The infection is most dangerous to young people and the elderly and can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics.