Salmonella outbreak caused by contact with bearded dragon in 25 states

Contact with bearded dragons kept as pets has led to a salmonella outbreak affecting at least 44 people in 25 states.

That’s according to a new warning from the CDC, which linked a 2020 salmonella outbreak to bearded dragons as well as hedgehogs kept as pets. The health agency says this is an active investigation that has also led to 15 hospitalizations so far – but no deaths so far. “Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean,” the CDC’s warning explains. “These germs can easily spread to their bodies and to anything in the area where they live and roam.”

CDC Bearded Dragon Warning

The health agency’s warning goes on to note that people can get sick from touching a bearded dragon or anything in its surroundings. “And then touch your mouth and swallow Salmonella sprouts.”

People can legally own bearded dragons – which are native to Australia – as pets in most countries. Forbeshowever, pointed out that keeping a pet in Hawaii could get you up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $ 200,000. Which is separate from the problem of potentially making you sick.

Among the CDC’s suggestions on how to stay safe around a bearded dragon:

Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching or feeding one. As well as after touching or cleaning the area where he lives and wanders.

Don’t kiss and snuggle him, and eat and drink with your bearded dragon. This includes keeping it out of any place you eat, store, or prepare food.

Symptoms of a salmonella outbreak

Additionally, “Clean your bearded dragon’s supplies outside the house, if possible … If you clean the supplies indoors, don’t clean them in the kitchen or other areas where you eat or cook.” food. Use a sink or tub, and clean and sanitize the area thoroughly immediately after. “

The good news, if you can call it that, is that most people recover from a Salmonella infection after four to seven days without needing any special treatment. It is also important to know that symptoms usually start between six hours and six days after swallowing the bacteria. And, according to the CDC, some people – “especially children under 5, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems” – could have more serious illnesses requiring medical treatment or treatment. hospitalization here.

In the meantime, these are some of the symptoms the CDC says you need to watch out for if you’re worried you’ve been exposed to salmonella germs.

  • Diarrhea and fever over 102 ° F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that does not improve
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you can’t hold back fluids
  • Signs of dehydration, such as infrequent urination, dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up

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