By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with public health officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to contact with pet hedgehogs.

Image/amayaeguizabal via pixabay

To date, 32 Salmonella Typhimurium infections have been reported in 17 states. Five people were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Sixteen of 23 ill people interviewed (70%) reported contact with pet hedgehogs before becoming sick.

This outbreak strain is the same as outbreaks linked to hedgehogs in 2012 and in 2019.

A common source of hedgehogs has not been identified. Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, and online.

Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies, habitats, toys, bedding, and anything in the area where they live. People can become sick after they touch hedgehogs or anything in their habitats and then touch their face or mouth.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient is hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other parts of the body.

Children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.