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Nebraska health officials say birds such as this baby Rhode Island Red pullet make bad Easter gifts for young children because the animals often carry salmonella bacteria. (LJS file)

Nebraska health officials say chicks or ducklings don't make good Easter presents because they often carry salmonella bacteria.

State public health veterinarian Annette Bredthauer says birds just don't make good Easter gifts, especially for young children.

The salmonella bacteria can be transmitted in bird feces. And salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

Bredthauer says should consider giving stuffed birds, instead of live ones as presents.

But anyone who does get a live bird should keep it outside and make sure that those who touch the bird or its cage should wash their hands immediately.

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