A CDC investigation update: Salmonella infections linked to hedgehogs
For Immediate Release: Friday, March 29, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
A CDC investigation update of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to contact with pet hedgehogs has been posted: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium-01-19/index.html.
- Since the last update on January 25, 2019, six more people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported, bringing the total to 17 cases.
- Three states have been added to this investigation (Iowa, Virginia, and Washington).
- Two people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
- Six out of 14 ill people with available information (43%) are children 12 years of age or younger.
- A common supplier of hedgehogs in this outbreak has not been identified. Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online.
- Illnesses started from October 22, 2018 to March 1, 2019.
- CDC continues to monitor PulseNet to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak.
- This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.
General advice on pet hedgehogs:
- Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean. Germs can easily spread to their bodies and anything in the area where they live.
- Pick the right pet for your family. Children younger than 5 years old, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk for serious illness. Households with these people might consider a different pet.
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog or cleaning its habitat. Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.
- Don’t kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick.
- Don’t let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens.
- Clean hedgehog habitats, toys, and supplies outside the house when possible.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.