The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a multi-state salmonella outbreak tied to pet hedgehogs and bearded dragons. Over a dozen people have been reported sick due to contact with animals.

The agency reported that five people have been hospitalized out of 32 reported cases. Across 17 states, 32 people have contracted Salmonella Typhimurium and 16 people reported contact with a hedgehog. No deaths have been reported. 13 people in eight states reported being infected with the Salmonella Muenster strain of the virus, which came from a bearded dragon.

The CDC collected samples from a bearded dragon that was kept as a pet. The hedgehogs linked to one of the strains apparently came from multiple sources. The CDC reported, “Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online stores. A common source of hedgehogs has not been identified.”

Salmonella symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea and can last for 5-7 days. People older than 65 are most at risk for the virus. To help prevent the spread of germs, the CDC recommends washing hands before and after playing with pets, and avoiding putting any hedgehogs near your face. Practice routine hygiene, including keeping toys and surrounding areas for pets clean.

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