CDC warns Americans not to kiss their hedgehogs

Faith Castro
January 28, 2019

Three of the patients live in Missouri; two of them live in Minnesota; and one each live in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas, and Wyoming.

Government officials are investigating a multi-state salmonella outbreak linked to contact with pet hedgehogs.

The CDC says that one of those affect has been hospitalized and that no deaths have been reported.

The CDC said Friday that it is now investigating a Salmonella typhimurium outbreak that it believes may be tied to contact with these prickly critters, adding that you definitely shouldn't be cuddling or smooching your pet hedgehog-hard as that may be.

As of January 23, 2019, a total of 11 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported across 8 states. It's still unclear if all or some of the pet hedgehogs came from "a common supplier", the CDC said.

The spiny animals carry Salmonella in their droppings - even though the animals appear fine and healthy.

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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 salmonellaA person infected with salmonella can experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. This can be easily transferred in their habitat, toys, beddings, and anywhere else the animals stay, so it is best to constantly wash hands with soap after holding or feeding the pet and cleaning its things.

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.

Kissing or snuggling hedgehogs is discouraged. The CDC recommends against letting these pets wander freely in areas where you prepare food.

Clean habitats, toys, and supplies outside the house when possible. Households "might consider a different pet" if they have children under 5, adults over 65 and people with weakened immune systems, who are more likely to get sick.

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