I don’t know what it is with parents in the U.K. letting pet snakes hang out with their babies.
For the third time in recent memory, a 4-month-old baby fell seriously ill with salmonella she caught from the family’s pet snake.
The baby girl was admitted to intensive care at St Thomas Hospital with a fever and high heart rate in August, where hospital tests revealed she was suffering from a strain known as salmonella Arizona, which is commonly associated with snakes.
She has recovered since then and an investigation by environmental health officers at Sutton Council identified the most likely source to be the family’s two royal python snakes, which can carry the infection in their gut and spread it through their droppings.
The council has now issued a hygiene warning to owners of exotic reptiles, saying it is essential for them to wash hands thoroughly after handling a reptile and keep the animal away from anywhere food is prepared.