Summary of Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Bearded Dragons

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In January 2022 an outbreak of Salmonella was linked to contact with bearded dragons

Click here for the 2023 Salmonella outbreak linked to bearded dragons.

CDC was investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections in people in 25 states linked to contact with bearded dragons.  Salmonella germs can spread between pet reptiles and  people. Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies and anything in the area where they live and roam.

bearded dragon

Certain people are at higher risk

You can get sick when you touch your mouth with unwashed hands after touching your bearded dragon or anything in its surroundings. Certain people, especially children under 5, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems, can get very sick from Salmonella.

Follow these steps to stay healthy around your pet bearded dragon

  • Wash your hands after touching or feeding your bearded dragon and after touching anywhere around its habitat.
  • Play safely — don’t kiss or snuggle your bearded dragon, or eat or drink around them.
  • Clean your bearded dragon supplies outside. This includes its tank, feeders, toys, and food and water containers. If you clean them indoors, use a laundry sink or bathtub instead of the kitchen sink, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the area right after.

If you are considering getting a pet bearded dragon:

Choose the right pet for your family. Households with children under 5, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems should not keep pet reptiles like bearded dragons.  These people are more likely to get a serious illness from germs that reptiles can carry.

Get more information on the 2022 outbreak

Get more information on the 2023 outbreak