ATLANTA, March 28 (UPI) -- Baby chicks are soft and cute, but many people don't realize the potential danger live baby poultry can be, especially to children, U.S. health officials say.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said each spring, some children become infected with Salmonella after holding, cuddling, or kissing the baby birds around Easter and by touching things where the bird lives, such as cages or feed and water bowls.
Young children are especially at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths, the CDC said.
Live poultry may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies even when they appear healthy and clean.
The germs can also get on cages, coops, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the birds live and roam. In addition, the germs can be found on the hands, shoes and clothing of those who handle the birds or work or play where they live and roam, the health officials said.