October 1, 2016

CDC Updates Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Hedgehogs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated their investigation into a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to African Pygmy Hedgehogs or pet hedgehogs. Now 23 people have been sickened in 9 states. Seven people have been hospitalized, and one person in Washington state has died.   The case count is: Alabama (1), Idaho (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (3), Ohio (5), Oregon (1), and Washington (7). Thirty-nine percent of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger. Among persons who reported the date they became ill, the illnesses began between December 26, 2011 and March 5, 2013. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 91 years, with a median age of 14 years. Sixty-one percent of ill persons are female. Of the 22 … [Read more...]

Salmonella From Pocket Pets, When Did Tiny Pet Hedgehogs Become A Thing?

Little hedgehogs grabbed big headlines last week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update of a Salmonella outbreak that began last fall linked to the tiny animals some people keep as pets. So when did keeping African pygmy hedgehogs as pets become a thing? People have been keeping the tiny hedgehogs as pets for more than 20 years. In 1991, the importation of wild caught pygmy hedgehogs from Africa was banned because of the risk that they carried foot and mouth disease, a threat to livestock.  Since that time, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that ll US breeders be licensed. In Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington D.C. and New York City owning a hedgehog as a pet is illegal, but they are … [Read more...]

Salmonella From African Pygmy Hedgehogs: 20 Sick, 1 Dead

Salmonella infections contracted from contact with African pygmy hedgehogs have sickened 20 people in eight states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four people have been hospitalized and one person in Washington has died. The tiny hedgehogs are purchased as pets. Often people are unaware that Salmonella can be transmitted by touching the animals, their environments or surfaces the animals have contacted and then touching their faces or eating without first washing hands. The cases of Salmonella Typhimurium by state are as follows: Alabama (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (3), Ohio (3), Oregon (1), and Washington (7). Those were sickened range in age from less han 1 to 91 years old. Forty five percent of the case patients are … [Read more...]

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