Forget chicks; water frogs sicken 217 with salmonella since 2009

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control reports that as of April 5, 2011, a total of 217 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 41 states since April 1, 2009. These infections are associated with contact with water frogs, specifically, African dwarf frogs.

A single water frog breeder in California has been identified as the source of African dwarf frogs associated with human infections. This breeding facility was first identified as the source of African dwarf frogs associated with human infections in 2010. Past information about this investigation in 2009-2010 can be found on the CDC Salmonella page.

In late March 2011, local health department staff visited the frog breeder and collected environmental samples. These samples were tested in CDC laboratories and were found to be positive for Salmonella bacteria; additional testing is ongoing to determine if this Salmonella strain is the outbreak strain.

The complete writeup is available at:

Eating raw chicken, handling turtles, and kissing frogs – all can lead to Salmonellosis

Gonzalo Erdozain of Kansas State University writes:

As a pre-veterinary student working for a food safety professor, I’ve heard of Salmonella.

When I arrived at the vet clinic where I also work on Saturday morning, I encountered a pink plastic container filled with a clear solution, which looked like water. The container had tape across it saying, "Water + Bleach – leave soaking overnight, dead turtle."

Because turtles, and African Dwarf Frogs (right), are an excellent source of Salmonella I pondered:

• was soaking the container over night with bleach and water enough;

• was there enough bleach in that water solution to kill the salmonella;

• since I’ll be washing it, should I wear gloves or just bleach it again;

• should I bleach my hands after bleaching the container; and,

• is the turtle still around for that warm soup on this cold day?

I cook at home, and I don’t want to make my wife barf.  Had I not taken the precautions of making sure I properly washed and disinfected my hands, I could have easily brought the pathogen home, passed it on to everything I touched and eventually made it into our dinner.

Beat the bug and wash your hands. The latest amphibian assault involves 48 people sick with Salmonella serotype Typhimurium in 25 states linked to water frogs that commonly live in aquariums or fish tanks.

Salmonella, or any foodborne pathogen can come from dead turtles, kissing frogs (sorry Disney, those happily ever afters only work in cartoons), dog’s treats, or by touching that Wii or PS3 remote your buddy just touched after pooping and not washing his hands.

If you thought your wife got mad at you for laying on the couch all Sunday, multiply that by 100 for making her barf like the girl on the exorcist and shit like Harry (Jeff Daniels) in Dumb and Dumber all at the same time.

More about Gonzalo:

I’ve always been fascinated by creatures. From a young age until now. If I remember correctly, my first pet was a frog I found on our family’s island in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was flushed down the toilet by my younger brother to see if it could swim. I’ve moved on, and had dogs, horses, parrots and a few other pets, and now I own a crazy yellow lab (don’t ask). But it was this passion which drove me to K-State to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine and which led me to this online publication, for which I now write?