In a follow-up on the multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to pet hedgehogs, federal health officials have reported six additional cases in the past two months.

Image/CDC
Image/CDC

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

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

Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online. A common supplier of hedgehogs in this outbreak has not been identified.

Health officials say hedgehogs can carry Salmonella bacteria in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean.

They advise to always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog or cleaning its habitatAdults should supervise handwashing for young children.

Don’t kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick and don’t let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens.