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Favorite hedgehogs cause a multifaceted Salmonella outbreak

Colin Basler, MD

Colin Basler

Health officials tied a multi-country outbreak salmonella The CDC reports that typhimuria infections are in contact with domestic hedgehogs.

As of January 25, 11 cases were reported in eight states, with one hospitalization and no deaths. The CDC said that 91% of people who reported an infection had contact with a hedgehog 1 week before the onset of the disease, although no common supplier was identified. According to the agency, 45% of the outbreak population are women, and the average age of patients is 12 years.

In Minnesota, samples collected from three hedgehogs in two patient homes tested positive for the outbreak strain. salmonella Typhimurium.

“We are still at an early stage of our investigation, and between when people get sick and when these cases are reported to the CDC, it takes 2-3 weeks. Therefore, we may receive more reports of patients, ”the epidemiologist at the CDC. Colin Basler, DVM, MPHsaid Infectious Disease News, "We know that hedgehogs can carry salmonella and appear healthy and clean. People who own hedgehogs should follow prevention tips to keep themselves and their hedgehog healthy. ”

Girl holding a hedgehog

Hedgehogs associated with a multifaceted flash salmonella,

Source: Adobe Stock

The CDC recommends that people wash their hands after contact with hedgehogs, refrain from kissing or pressing animals, keep pets out of the kitchen and away from food areas, and regularly clean their habitat, toys and other animal items.

Adults aged 65 years and older, children 5 years old and younger, and people with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of serious illness. The CDC suggests choosing another pet with these people.

Since 2017, another multi-state salmonella outbreaks were associated with domestic turtles and guinea pigs. It has also recently been discovered that puppies are a source of infectious pathogens.

The investigation of the outbreak of domestic hedgehogs continues, and the CDC said it will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

“Clinicians working with young children, the elderly, or immunocompromised people should remind patients that some pets can carry germs that can make their patients sick,” said Basler. – Marley Gizzone


CDC. Flash salmonella infections associated with domestic hedgehogs. https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium-01-19/index.html. As of January 29, 2019.

Information disclosure: Basler reports no financial disclosures.

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