ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Don't kiss chickens!

That's the warning coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has linked salmonella cases to families raising poultry in their backyards. There were 235 cases reported in the last month, bringing the total number of reported cases to 1,003 in 49 states, including 16 in Florida.

Two-thirds of people who got sick reported contact with chicks or ducklings. 

A quarter of those infected are children. 

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps within 12 to 72 hours of exposure.

Poultry owners are advised to wash their hands thoroughly after handling birds, and not to “kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.”

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