The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday they are investigating a multistate Salmonella Muenchen outbreak linked to contact with pet crested geckos purchased from multiple stores in different states.
Crested geckos are popular pet lizards that come in a variety of colors.
As of May 13, 2015, a total of 20 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Muenchen have been reported from 16 states since January 1, 2014. Three (15%) of these ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Florida (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), Montana (1), New Hampshire (1), New York (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (2), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), Washington (2), and Wisconsin (2).
In interviews, ill persons answered questions about contact with animals and foods consumed during the week before becoming ill. Ten (91%) of 11 persons interviewed reported contact with reptiles or their environments before becoming ill. When asked about the type of reptile, all 10 (100%) persons reported contact with crested geckos.
Fortunately, of the strains tested by health officials for antibiotic resistance testing, the strains were susceptible to all antibiotics tested on the CDC’S National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) panel.