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Hedgehog Salmonella Outbreak Spreads to 3 More States

17 people have been infected.

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An outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to contact with pet hedgehogs has spread to three additional states since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publicized it on Jan. 25.

Six new cases have been reported.

A total of 17 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella typhimurium have been reported from 11 states, according to the CDC. Two people were hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with pet hedgehogs is the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, 13 (87%) of 15 ill people reported contact with a hedgehog. No common supplier of hedgehogs in this outbreak has been identified.

The outbreak strain making people sick was identified in samples collected from eight hedgehogs in Minnesota, including three hedgehogs from two ill patients’ homes.

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Affected states are Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Ill people have reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online.

Illnesses started on dates from Oct. 22 to March 1. Ill people range in age from 2 to 95 years, with a median age of 13 years.

The CDC explains that 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.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, according to the CDC. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.

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