Nearly 400 people have been sickened in 2017 in salmonella outbreaks linked to backyard chickens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency is investigating eight different outbreaks in 47 states since last January, including 11 cases in Washington and four in Oregon.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection, according to Dr. John DiGiglia, Louisiana emergency room physician.
"Salmonella is a bacteria that when someone gets exposed to it, it can cause gastroenteritis, which is vomiting, nausea, diarrhea," he told KPLC-TV in Louisiana.
Dr. DiGiglia says salmonella infections generally last four to seven days, but if it lasts longer than that or you're experiencing severe stomach cramps or signs of dehydration, see a doctor.
With the nationwide salmonella outbreak, the CDC reports most patients had been in contact with live poultry the week before falling ill.
Of the nearly people 372 infected so far this year, more than a third are children and that is why experts are warning against cuddling or kissing the chickens. Children younger than five years old should not handle live birds without adult supervision.
In 2016, the CDC reported a record 895 case of salmonella related the backyard poultry, a result of the increasing popularity of urban chickens. There were six cases in Oregon and ten in Washington.
KGW and KING 5's Travis Pittman contributed to this report.