By Ginny Harman

Having backyard chickens has become a popular trend lately and so has the possibility of getting Salmonella poisoning from them.

Public health officials said they are seeing more outbreaks of the bacterial infection linked to the birds, with 2016 setting a record of Salmonella outbreaks in the United States, The Fresno Bee reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 21 people in 15 counties have been infected in California.

“Live poultry, such as chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys, often carry germs such as Salmonella. After you touch a bird or anything in the area where birds live and roam, wash your hands so you don’t get sick,the CDC states.

Overall, 372 people in 47 states have become ill with Salmonella that has been linked back to poultry.

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