ATLANTA (CBS Local) — With Halloween right around the corner, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clarifying its comments about dressing up chickens.

The warning may sound like a joke, but it is quite serious.

The Atlanta-based CDC advises people with backyard or pet chickens to handle them carefully, keep the chickens outside and to not eat or drink near the animals.

Since January, at least 92 people in 29 states have been infected after coming into contact with raw chicken products. 21 of the sick patients have been hospitalized, though no deaths have been reported.

Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain that generally last between four and seven days.

Despite the statement, some chicken owners said they aren’t about to leave dear ones at home on the big night.

“They’re a part of my family,” said Stephanie Morse of Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, told KNOE.

“It’s just about hand hygiene. After you touch them, when you go inside, make sure you just wash your hands and you watch where you step,” she says.

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