Thursday , June 17 2021

Poor hedgehogs are responsible for the outbreak of Salmonella

The hedgehog's life is pretty cool as people begin to get bacterial infections.
The hedgehog's life is pretty cool as people begin to get bacterial infections.

Photo: Berk Ozkan / Anatolian Agency / Getty Images

After all, this pet might not be such a good idea.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday about 11 salmonella infections in eight countries, and in all but one case, people were in contact with a pet hedgehog.

Only one person went to the hospital because of the outbreak, but health officials are concerned about the growing number of human infection cases in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming.

The infected are from 2 to 28 years old and the infections started in October. The same strain of Salmonella was detected in three hedgehogs from the homes of two infected people in Minnesota. It is still unclear whether a common hedgehog can be traced, but in the meantime it is recommended that the hedgehog owners be careful.

Animals carry Salmonella in their stools – although the animals look good and healthy. When people touch their pets and their living quarters, microbes spread and people get sick, especially young children or those with already compromised health. Health officials recommend a lot of handwashing, cleaning the cage and keeping the hedgehog from the kitchen.

For some people, the risk of infection can be too high, so it's probably not the right pet for you – no matter how sweet the baby is. As the CDC warns: "Do not kiss or press hedgehog."

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