166 sick: Over half under 5 from Salmonella in pet bearded dragons

Reptiles are one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States pet industry. Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) continues to be an important public health problem, especially among children.

We investigated an outbreak of human Salmonella infections resulting from serotypes Cotham and Kisarawe, predominately occurring among children. An outbreak of illnesses was identified in persons with exposure to pet bearded dragon lizards. Human and animal health officials, in cooperation with the pet industry, conducted epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory investigations. Onsite sampling was conducted at two US breeding facilities, one foreign breeding facility, and a large pet retail chain. A total of 166 patients in 36 states were identified with illness onset dates from 02/2012-06/2014. The median patient age was 3 years (range, <1-79 years), 57% were aged ≤5 years, and 37% were aged ≤1 year. Forty-four patients (37%) were hospitalized, predominantly children. Sampling at breeding facilities and a national pet store chain resulted in isolation of outbreak serotypes at each facility; isolation proportions ranged from 2%-24% of samples collected at each facility.

Epidemiologic, microbiologic and traceback evidence linked an outbreak of uncommon Salmonella serotypes to contact with pet bearded dragons. The high proportion of infants involved in this outbreak highlights the need to educate owners about the risk of RAS in children and the potential for household contamination by pet reptiles or their habitats. Strategies should be developed to improve breeding practices, biosecurity and monitoring protocols to reduce Salmonella in the pet reptile trade.



Outbreak of human infections with uncommon salmonella serotypes linked to pet beareded dragons, 2012-2014, 18 April 2020

Zoonoses Public Health

Kiebler CA1Bottichio L1Simmons L1Basler C1Klos R2Gurfield N3Roberts E4Kimura A4Lewis LS5Bird K5Stiles F5Schlater LK6Lantz K6Edling T7Barton Behravesh C1.

doi: 10.1111/zph.12701


You see a lizard, I see foodborne illness: 36 students vomit after eating dish in India

As many as 36 students of a government school in Ulupakkudi area complained of nausea after eating ‘paniyaram’ from a roadside eatery which had parts of lizard in it, police said.

kuzhi-paniyaram-recipe-1Paniyaram is a fried dish available both in sweet and spicy form.

The students from class 1 to 8 complained of vomiting after consuming the dish, sold by a woman outside the school.

Could that purple thing be replaced with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer?

Lizard found in egg puff, 3rd in a month in India

 The city police have registered a case against owner of the New Ragam Bakery at Ammankoil near Sivanandapuram after one of the customers found a dead lizard in an egg puff on Friday evening. The customer was rushed to a nearby hospital after he started vomiting in the bakery. A similar incident was reported last month after a man found a dead lizard in an egg puff bought from a bakery near Town Hall.

Egg PuffsfinalA Balachandran, 29, a car driver, P Rameshkumar, 31, an electrician, and their friend T Rajendran, 32, a coconut seller from Chinnavedampatti had gone to New Ragam Bakery near Sivanandapuram on Friday evening.

“I ordered two vegetable puffs and one egg puff for my friend Rameshkumar. He took a few bites and saw the dead lizard inside the egg puff. He started vomiting and felt giddy. I took him to a private clinic at Sivanandapuram and lodged a complaint against the bakery with Saravanampatti police station,” said Balachandran.

He added that they were regular customers at the bakery for the last eight years. “After seeing the dead lizard in the egg puff, we have decided to stop eating puffs altogether,” said Balachandran.

Australian mother finds lizard in baby formula

A mother has called on a leading baby formula brand to recall a batch of one of their popular product lines after she opened a tin and discovered a dead lizard rotting inside.

1405218021287.jpg-300x0Artilina Castanares, a 30-year-old mother-of-two from the outer north-western Sydney suburb The Ponds, said she made the unpleasant discovery on Friday when she opened a newly purchased tin of S-26 Original Process formula.

“I opened it and there was a funny smell. Its tail was sticking up and, thinking it was a thread, I lifted it up and it was a gecko,” Mrs Castanares said.

“I squealed and dropped it. I was in shock from then on,” she said.

Mrs Castanares said she immediately informed “Careline”, the product’s contact hotline listed on the side of the tin, about her discovery.

A spokesperson directed her to return the tin with the dead lizard inside to Aspen Australia, the company’s head office, for an investigation, but was advised she would have to wait up to two months before she heard anything.

“She [the spokesperson] was very casual about it. She said ‘send it in, and well send it overseas for investigation, but be aware it will take 6-8 weeks,’” Mrs Castanares said.

Mrs Castanares said this was an “unacceptable” response as “babies could be at risk.”

“I’m in shock,” she said.

Children vomit after lizard found in midday meal in India

Barely a week after 54 students of a government middle school in Sitamarhi district fell ill after eating midday meal (MDM) in which a snake was found, some children were taken ill in Siwan district on Friday after eating midday meal in which a dead lizard was found.

lizardState education department principal secretary R K Mahajan told TOI, “The incident took place at an upgraded middle school in Sonbarsa under Maharajganj block of Siwan district. One of the children reported to have found a dead lizard in his food and started vomiting. A few other students also vomited after some time.”

“The students were taken to the primary health centre as a precautionary measure and we have sought a report from the district officials on the incident,” he said.

Salmonella factories: don’t eat geckos

“Liven up your next birthday party with a visit from Brisbane Reptile Awareness!

They’ll come to you with a number of reptiles for only $120 – not the usual $240!

Interact with pythons, lizards, a salt water crocodile, long neck turtle and more!

Touch and handle the reptiles while supervised by their specialist rangers.”

Which may be better than the young man who claims he reluctantly ate a lizard to avoid being bashed by a former outlaw bikie.

But forcing his mate to feast on the reptile did not stop ex-Rebel Motorcycle Club member Mark Adrian Mitchell from smashing the victim’s jaw because he then refused to continue taking part in a fraudulent eBay scheme, a court has been told.

Mitchell, 33, was yesterday jailed for four years and three months after pleading guilty in the Brisbane District Court to charges of extortion and assault causing grievous bodily harm at Sandstone Point and Banksia Beach, on Bribie Island, 50km north of Brisbane, between February and June last year.

Mitchell had earlier pleaded not guilty to a charge of torturing Mitchell Noe, 23, by forcing him to eat a Gecko if he was to avoid being bashed.

A jury was told Noe began eating the reptile, but stopped when it made him physically ill.

UK baby sick with Salmonella from pet lizard

A five-month-old baby was rushed to hospital after contracting Salmonella pomona from an exotic family pet.

Your Local Guardian reports a warning has now been issued to all reptile owners and further investigations by Sutton Council environmental health officers revealed the family’s Bearded Dragon lizard and tortoises to be the likely culprits that passed on the bacteria.

The five-month-old has since recovered and the council is using the incident to urge parents of young children to keep them away from reptiles.

It follows a similar incident in 2009 when a baby girl from Sutton was admitted to intensive care with a fever and high heart rate after contracting Salmonella Arizona from her family’s pet snake.

Salmonella risk from reptiles, Australia version

In 2009, a four-month-old baby girl was taken to an Australian hospital emergency department after contracting salmonella through indirect contact with an eastern bearded dragon.

Testing revealed the girl had been infected with a type of salmonella known as rubislaw. A subsequent article published in the Medical Journal of Australia revealed that between nine and 19 cases of rubislaw had been detected in Australians between 2000 and 2009.

Reptile expert Robert Johnson said many pet owners were unaware of the risks posed by reptiles and needed to practice good hygiene to eliminate their chances of infection.

Dr Johnson said the risk of salmonella poisoning should not deter people from owning reptiles.

”They are great little pets. They don’t create a noise and you can keep them in reasonably small areas. But you have to maintain good hygiene.”

The risks of reptiles as pets will be on the agenda at the Australian Veterinary Association’s annual conference in Adelaide this week.

Lizard found in can of baked beans from Dubai store

Sandeep Sequeira bought a can of Kimball baked beans from a grocery store in Bur Dubai on Wednesday morning.

"When I got home I opened the can and I spotted something weird. So I took a spoon, placed the spoon under what was bothering me and lifted the spoon. It was half a lizard. I was lucky enough that it was right on top of the can. I was going to eat half the can only. I can only imagine if it was at the bottom of the can."

Sequeira contacted the municipality and a food inspector was sent to investigate the matter (image, right, from Sandeep Sequeira, Gulf News Reader).

"The inspector met with me and took the can and the lizard so that they can test it," Sequeira said.

Ahmad Al Ali, head of the Food Inspection Section at Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News on Sunday,

"We have already pulled all Kimball baked bean cans with the same manufacture date and lot number as the one found to be contaminated."

Exotic animals, salmonella and kids with food co-exist in harmony

Gonzalo Erdozain writes:

A couple of Saturday’s ago, the clinic I work for in Kansas City held an open house for clients and prospective clients to come and tour the premises, pet a few exotic animals, and even perform an ultrasound on a stuffed frog with bladder problems and surgery on a teddy bear/dog stuffed with candy. Hot dogs, cake and soft drinks were also provided, preferably after the moonwalk, to prevent any unnecessary barfing. As part of my commitment to food safety I was in charge of the handwashing station placed next to the exotic animals’ room.

As usual, kids required some convincing, encouragement from their parents and candy to get them to wash their hands before heading out for some food. Surprisingly enough, kids weren’t the only ones who didn’t know turtles are famous for their Salmonella – as well as reptiles and amphibians in general. It was an opportunity to inform people about the risks involved with having such animals as pets, and help them teach their kids.