Health Care

11 sickened in salmonella outbreak linked to hedgehogs — CDC

11 sickened in salmonella outbreak linked to hedgehogs — CDC”

Ten of the 11 infected people confirmed recent contact with hedgehogs, and one person is now hospitalized because of the illness.

Hedgehogs can carry salmonella germs, even while appearing healthy and clean.

According to the federal agency, the outbreak strain was found in samples collected from three hedgehogs located in two ill patients' homes. These germs can then spread to their living spaces, toys, and bedding, which can make caretakers sick.

First, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said not to kiss or snuggle with your chickens; now, the agency is cautioning against PDA with pet hedgehogs.

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

One death from the outbreak, which began in October, was reported in California.

The states affected by the outbreak are Texas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.

Symptoms of a salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps lasting four to seven days.

While a common supplier of the potentially infected hedgehogs has not been identified at this time, the CDC noted that these animals have the potential to infect people with salmonella regardless of where they were purchased.

There are an estimated 1.2 million salmonella cases in the United States annually, and various foods are to blame for about 1 million of those illnesses, according to the CDC.

Most patients recover from salmonella poisoning without treatment, however those who experience severe illness can die from the infection if not treated promptly with antibiotics. "Don't let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens", the CDC further suggested.

If you pick up a pet hedgehog, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

The CDC also recommends routinely cleaning their toys and supplies.

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