Multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to hedgehogs

June 3, 2019

A CDC investigation update of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to contact with pet hedgehogs. Ten more people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported, bringing the total to 27 people. Six more states are included in this investigation (CA, IN, KS, MI, OR, TN). Two people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Forty-two percent of the ill people are children age 12 or younger.

A common supplier of hedgehogs in this outbreak has not been identified. Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online. Illnesses started from October 22, 2018 to April 8, 2019.

General advice on pet hedgehogs:

·        Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean.

·         People who are more likely to get a serious illness are children younger than 5, adults over 65, and people who have health problems that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.

·         Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching.

·         Don’t kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face.

·         Don’t let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored.

·         Clean hedgehog habitats, toys, and supplies outside the house when possible.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

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