Salmonella outbreak linked to pet hedgehogs, CDC warns

At least 11 people across eight states have been sickened so far the CDC said

At least 11 people across eight states have been sickened so far the CDC said

The CDC recommends people with weakened immune systems - such as those who have sickle cell disease - not keep these particular animals as pets since they are more prone to contracting severe Salmonella infections.

Health officials said that the outbreak strain that has made people sick was identified in samples taken from three hedgehogs in two ill patients' homes in Minnesota.

The cases have been reported in eight states including Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Maine, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas. It's not clear yet if a common hedgehog supplier can be traced back, but in the meantime hedgehog owners are advised to be careful.

The CDC said in its advisory that people began reporting sickness in late October, and 10 out of the 11 individuals interviewed by health officials said they had previously crossed paths with a pet hedgehog.

At least 11 people across eight states have been sickened so far, the CDC said. No deaths have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

The CDC emphasizes that it should be known that hedgehogs carry Salmonella germs, even though they may appear healthy.

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Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps. These germs can then spread to their living spaces, toys, and bedding, which can make caretakers sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), salmonella is the cause for 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States annually. Most people's Salmonella infections resolve on their own after four to seven days, but in rare cases, the infection can be deadly. I certainly understand the need to squish the cute thing, but the CDC also advises against kissing and snuggling these pets in general-not just during an outbreak.

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog or cleaning its habitat.

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

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

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