Hedgehogs Might Be To Blame For Salmonella Outbreak In eight States

Hedgehogs Might Be To Blame For Salmonella Outbreak In eight States

Don't kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick.

A single case has been reported in Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Mississippi and ME, according the CDC.

While a common supplier of the potentially infected hedgehogs has not been identified at this time, the CDC noted that these animals have the potential to infect people with salmonella regardless of where they were purchased. No one has died, however one person was hospitalized.

Three people in Missouri contracted the infection, as well as two in Minnesota.

As of January 23, 2019, a total of 11 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported across 8 states. Ten of the eleven infected patients said they had contact with a pet hedgehog before becoming sick.

One death from the outbreak, which began in October, was reported in California.

Meanwhile, the CDC advised pet owners to be extra careful with their hedgehogs that appear clean and healthy as their droppings can still carry Salmonella germs.

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The Public Health Agency of Canada reported an additional 22 turkey-related salmonella infections in four provinces - British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick - believed to be linked to the USA outbreak.

Symptoms of the infection include fever, diarrhea and stomach pain starting 12 to 72 hours after contact.

It usually lasts for four days to a week and most people survive the illness even without treatment. "These germs can easily spread to their bodies, habitats, toys, bedding and anything in the area where they live".

Those who own hedgehogs as pets are urged to always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog.

For some people, the risk of infection might be too high, so maybe a hedgehog just isn't the right pet for you - no matter how cute the little guys are. Young children, older adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to complications, which can lead to hospitalization.

Kissing or snuggling hedgehogs is discouraged.

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