166 sick from Salmonella linked to bearded dragons

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.

bearded_dragon_pic*Reptiles can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.

*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.