Multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Cotham

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286


CDC will host a media briefing to discuss 20 years of immunization with the VFC program and current measles cases and outbreaks.


  • As of April 21, 2014, a total of 132 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Cotham have been reported from 31 states since Feb. 21, 2012.
    • 58 percent of ill persons are children 5 years of age or younger.
    • 42 percent of ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and trace-back findings have linked this outbreak of Salmonella infections to contact with pet bearded dragons purchased from multiple stores in different states.
    • Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards that come in a variety of colors.
  • CDC’S NARMS laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on Salmonella Cotham isolates collected from three ill persons infected with the outbreak strain.
    • Of the three isolates collected from ill persons, one was resistant to ceftriaxone, an antibiotic used to treat serious Salmonella infections.
  • It is very important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching reptiles or anything in the area where they live and roam.
    • Simple tips on how to enjoy your pet reptile and protect yourself and your family from illness is available in English and en Español.


Page last reviewed: April 24, 2014