CDC warns Americans not to kiss their hedgehogs

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It's still unclear if all or some of the pet hedgehogs came from "a common supplier", the CDC said. Ninety-one percent of ill people told the CDC that they were in contact with hedgehogs. The CDC has issued similar advisories for pets like chickens (please don't kiss them!) and turtles (again, please no kisses!) during Salmonella outbreaks.

In addition to the person from Nebraska, people in Missouri, Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota, Texas, Mississippi and ME have been affected, the CDC said.

The bacterial infection, caused by a certain strain of Salmonella, was found in samples collected from hedgehogs in some of the infected peoples' homes. One person has been hospitalized to date.

As of January 23, 2019, a total of 11 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported across 8 states.

Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain that generally last between four and seven days.

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Hedgehogs can carry salmonella even if they appear healthy.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reported an additional 22 turkey-related salmonella infections in four provinces - British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick - believed to be linked to the USA outbreak.

There are an estimated 1.2 million salmonella cases in the United States annually, and various foods are to blame for about 1 million of those illnesses, according to the CDC. These germs can then spread to their living spaces, toys, and bedding, which can make caretakers sick. I certainly understand the need to squish the cute thing, but the CDC also advises against kissing and snuggling these pets in general-not just during an outbreak. "Don't let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens", the CDC further suggested.

Clean habitats, toys, and supplies outside the house when possible. Children under 5 years old, adults over 65, or people with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk for serious illness.

If you pick up a pet hedgehog, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

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