Salmonella Outbreak Linked to this Uncommon Pet

January 28, 2019 - 1:01 pm

(KNX 1070) -- Eleven people from eight different states have been made ill from Salmonella linked to hedgehogs. 

One person has been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported, but the CDC reports it's the pet hedgehogs who're the likely source of the outbreak.

In interviews, 10 of the 1l people who became ill, reported contact with a hedgehog.

The common supplier of the hedgehogs has not been identified.

The strain was identified in samples collected from three hedgehogs in two ill patients’ homes in Minnesota.

According to the CDC owners of hedgehogs should take the following precautions to stay healthy around their pet: 

People who own or come in contact with hedgehogs should take steps to stay healthy around their pet:

*Wash your hands: Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies, habitats, toys, bedding, and anything in the area where they live. People become sick after they touch hedgehogs or anything in their habitats. Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog or cleaning its habitat. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.

*Play safely: Don’t kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick. Don’t let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens. Clean habitats, toys, and supplies outside the house when possible. Avoid cleaning these items in the kitchen or any other location where food is prepared, served, or stored.

*Pick the right pet for your family: Children under 5 years old, adults over 65, or people with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk for serious illness. Households with these individuals might consider a different pet. Hedgehog breeders, pet stores, or others that sell or display hedgehogs should provide educational materials to employees and customers.