The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that it’s investigating salmonella cases linked to pet bearded dragons and hedgehogs.
The CDC said that 13 salmonella infections in eight states have been potentially tied to handling the pets. The CDC confirmed that seven of the infections resulted in hospitalizations. Ten of the 13 ill people reported contact with a bearded dragon.
Those who reported illnesses said they purchased bearded dragons from pet stores, but a common supplier has not been identified.
The CDC said that two similar outbreaks were tied to hedgehogs in the last decade.
The CDC offers owners of pet bearded dragons and hedgehogs the following tips:
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching your pet or anything in its environment.
- Don’t kiss or snuggle your pet because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you
- Keep your pet out of your kitchen and other areas where you eat, store, or prepare food.
- Clean items you use to care for your pet outside the house, if possible. If you clean the items indoors, clean them in a laundry sink or bathtub. Make sure to thoroughly disinfect the area right after.
- Don’t let children younger than 5 touch the bearded dragon or hedgehog because young children are more likely to have severe Salmonella illness.
- Before bringing home a new pet, research the pet’s needs and see if it’s a good fit for your family.