May 24, 2019

Salmonella Outbreak From Contact with Bearded Dragons

At least 132 people in 31 states have contracted Salmonella infections from contact with pet bearded dragons since February 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of them are children five and under.

SalmonellaThe outbreak strain, Salmonella Cotham, is extremely rare. Less than one one hundredth of one percent of Salmonella strains cultured from Americans since 1963 have been been Salmonella Cotham.

Those who became ill range in age from less than 1 year to 79 years, the median age is 2. Fifty-eight percent of  the case patients are children 5 years and under. Fifty-one percent are female. About 42 percent of those sickened were hospitalized. There have been no fatalities.

Multiple breeders of the pets have been identified as potential sources of the outbreak. The investigation is ongoing.

By state, the case count is as follows: Arizona (4), California (21), Colorado (2), Florida (3), Georgia (1), Idaho (3), Illinois (6), Kansas (6), Kentucky (4), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (5), Minnesota (3), Missouri (7), Nebraska (1), Nevada (3), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (3), New York (10), North Carolina (2), Ohio (1), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (5), South Carolina (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (5), Texas (6), Utah (3), Virginia (3), Washington (4), and Wisconsin (12).

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