The Universe of Discourse

Tue, 10 Sep 2019

Chicken-fondling discouraged by the CDC

This week, according to the Washington Post, Kissing chickens is bad for your health, CDC warns. (The story was also reported by Newsweek last week. )

Specifically, the CDC Investigation Notice advises:

Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.

This isn't quite clear. Is it:

Don’t ((kiss backyard poultry)
((snuggle them) and (then touch your (face or mouth))))

or is it rather

Don’t (((kiss backyard poultry) or (snuggle them))
and (then touch your (face or mouth)))

I think they mean the former? But if it's the latter, then the Post has it wrong, and it's okay to kiss backyard poultry, as long as you don't then touch your face or mouth.

But is this really a pressing issue? Apparently so! Kissing chickens, according to the CDC research, is disturbingly common:

Among respondents with baby poultry exposure … 13% (53/400) reported kissing baby birds.

No word on how many of the 53 chicken-kissers tried to use their tongues.

black-and-white photograph of a young boy in overalls, with his hips
pressed against a wooden door, a pained expression on his face.  On
the other side of the door, there is a large chicken, with its head
hidden by the door.

[ Addendum 20210520: This has come around again:

Screencap of Tucker Carlson on Fox New.  On the left, Tucker's talking head.  On the right, a blonde woman holding a chicken.  The caption says “POULTRY ENTHUSIAST RESPONDS TO NEW CSC GUIDANCE ON KISSING CHICKENS”

The CDC reports that 163 people have contracted salmonella from backyard poultry, and again implores people not to kiss or snuggle them. ]

[ Addendum 20210523: The blonde lady, I have learned, is Tiara Soleim, who, when she was a contestant on The Bachelor, was also identified as a “chicken enthusiast”. The Tucker Carlson segment contains footage of her demonstrating how to snuggle and kiss chickens. ]

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