Quit kissing adorable hedgehogs, says the CDC

    The CDC has identified an outbreak of salmonella caused by contact with hedgehogs.

    CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to contact with pet hedgehogs.

     

    11 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from eight states.

    Illnesses started on dates from October 22, 2018 to December 25, 2018. Ill people range in age from 2 to 28 years, with a median age of 12. Forty-five percent are female. Of 11 people, 1 (9%) has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

    In interviews, ill people answered questions about animal contact in the week before they became ill. Of 11 people interviewed, 10 (91%) reported contact with hedgehogs before becoming ill. Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online.

    The outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium was identified in samples collected from three hedgehogs in two ill patients’ homes in Minnesota. A common supplier of hedgehogs has not been identified. Regardless of where hedgehogs are purchased, these animals can carry Salmonella germs that can make people sick. This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.

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