4 sick with Salmonella in Scotland linked to kissing bearded dragons

Kissing turtles can be bad – but that applies to all reptiles.

You see a cute gecko, I see a Salmonella factory.

Health chiefs in Scotland have issued a warning after four people were rushed to hospital with salmonella, thought to be caught from kissing their exotic pets. NHS Forth Valley has warned owners to avoid kissing bearded pet_bearded_dragon_kiss_h-461733dragons, as most reptiles carry salmonella in their gut without showing any signs of infection. 

This bacteria is then shed in droppings, which can quickly spread over the skin of pet lizards and other reptiles. 

As a result, any surface or object that the animal comes into contact with can be contaminated, such as toys, clothes, furniture and household surfaces.

NHS Forth Valley said that four people have been brought into hospital in the last eight months suffering from the illness after kissing bearded dragons and other reptiles.

Bearded dragons are native to Central Australia, but have become increasingly popular pets in the cold climes of Scotland.

Taking their name from their spiny throat projections, which resemble a beard, they are said to be great pets for older children, and can live for 10 years.