1 dead, 19 sick; hedgehog alert; prickly pets can carry salmonella

Every time someone introduces a new pet at the kid’s school, I see Salmonella.

This week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control documents an outbreak of Salmonella hedgehog.salm.jan.13Typhimurium that has sickened at least 20 people and linked to handling hedgehogs.

The median patient age was 13 years (range: <1–91 years); 55% of patients were female. Four patients were hospitalized. One death associated with Salmonella infection has been reported. Fourteen out of 15 patients (or their proxies) reported direct or indirect contact between the patient and a hedgehog during the week before illness onset. The hedgehogs were purchased from various hedgehog breeders, many of whom were USDA-APHIS licensed, in several states.

Other pets that carry the salmonella bug are frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, lizards, chicks and ducklings.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time