The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that this investigation is over; however, the illnesses linked to contact with pet bearded dragons are expected to continue at a low level.
*Pet owners might be unaware of the risk of Salmonella infection from bearded dragons.
*It is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching reptiles or anything in the area where they live and roam.
*Simple tips on how to enjoy your pet reptile and protect yourself and your family from illness is available in English and en Español.
*A total of 166 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Cotham (160 persons) or Salmonella Kisarawe (6 persons) were reported from 36 states since February 21, 2012.
*59% of ill persons were children 5 years of age or younger.
*37% of ill persons were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
*Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings linked this outbreak of human Salmonella infections to contact with pet bearded dragons purchased from multiple stores in different states.
*Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards that come in a variety of colors.
*CDC’S NARMS laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on Salmonella Cotham isolates collected from ten ill persons and two bearded dragons infected with the outbreak strain.
*Nine (90%) of the ten isolates collected from ill persons were pansusceptible (susceptible to all antibiotics tested).
*One (10%) of the ten isolates collected from ill persons was resistant to ceftriaxone, an antibiotic used to treat serious Salmonella infections.
*The two isolates collected from infected bearded dragons were both pansusceptible.