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CDC warns against dressing up pet chickens for Halloween

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(WASHINGTON) — Louisiana resident Stephanie Morse treats chickens like family, and like any other family member, Morse’s chickens get costumes every Halloween.

“Their bare skin is exposed, I just like to put a sweater on them to keep them warm and comfortable, and some of them have more personality,” Morse told CBS affiliate KNOE-TV.

But people like Morse are being told not to trick-or-treat with their chickens this Halloween. The CDC is asking pet owners to refrain from dressing up their chickens this year due to a particular strain of salmonella.

At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella after coming into contact with raw chicken products. No deaths have been reported, but 21 of the sick patients have been hospitalized.

The CDC warned that people could be infected by handling live chickens. When dressing a chicken, whether in a Halloween costume or a sweater, it is easier for a person to come into contact with harmful bacteria that live on poultry, including salmonella.

The agency also warns, “Don’t kiss your birds or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.”

Despite this, Morse said that her chickens will continue to strut their stuff.

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