Pass the Chicken: Poultry a road hazard?

BALTIMORE, Md. — Apparently, it’s not diesel exhaust exposure you should worry about when pacing behind another tractor-trailer. Instead, you might want to roll up the windows and hold your breath if you’re ever trailing a live chicken hauler.

According to a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, chickens hauled in crates on open flatdecks can release antibiotic-resistant bacteria along the highway and into vehicles traveling behind them.

You Lookin’ at Me? Roll up the windows
when passing a chicken truck.

According to an Associated Press report summarizing the study, researchers found high traces of bacteria along a 27-kilometre stretch of highway that connects a large concentration of chicken farms through Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The study is being published in the first issue of the Journal of Infection and Public Health.

The study’s co-author Ana Rule recommends that drivers stuck behind chicken haulers should "pass them quickly."

But should drivers really be this concerned with contracting bird flu-type diseases out on the open road? Not really.

The study points out that there’s no real evidence that the bacteria in question is spread through the air and get you sick. 

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