After an outbreak of Salmonella in which 11 people in eight states were hospitalized, the CDC has issued a warning to pet owners. Ten of those individuals said they had contact with a pet hedgehog before they became ill. While most people will recover without any treatment, some individuals can develop serious illnesses. The CDC suggests that children should not play with hedgehogs, especially those that are unwashed.
Salmonella typhimurium in humans
Although no one has died because of the outbreak, health officials have advised people to avoid kissing and cuddling pet hedgehogs. The CDC has confirmed that this infection has caused salmonella typhimurium in people. The outbreak has been linked to the consumption of contaminated pet hedgehogs. There have been at least 11 reported cases in eight states. Only two people have died, and the rest have developed severe gastrointestinal illnesses. The majority of the affected people live in Missouri, while cases in Minnesota, Colorado, Maine, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Wisconsin have been reported in other states.
A high risk for individuals with weakened immune systems
A 2013 outbreak of the disease was linked to the pets of hedgehogs. At least 26 people became sick with the same bacterial strain. The majority of people reported contact with hedgehogs, but not everyone infected had contact with the animals. The outbreak caused one death and eight hospitalizations. While there have not been any deaths yet, a high risk pet for individuals with weakened immune systems is still recommended.