The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are investigating an outbreak of nine Salmonella infections across eight states (Colorado-2, Indiana-1, Iowa-1, Massachusetts-1, Michigan-1, New York-1, Virginia-1 and Vermont-1).

Image/livianovakova10 via pixabay
Image/livianovakova10 via pixabay

One person was hospitalized and no deaths were reported.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from July 17, 2015 to December 15, 2017. Although the last illness was reported in December 2017, illnesses could continue if people are unaware of the risk.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that contact with pet guinea pigs is the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

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CDC reminds the public to keep you and your pet safe and healthy, always wash your hands after touching, feeding, or caring for pet rodents or cleaning their habitats.

Pet rodents, including guinea pigs, are not recommended as pets for children younger than 5 years old, and should not be kept in childcare centers or schools with young children.

Illness from Salmonella usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. Symptoms may include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. In some people, diarrhea may be so severe that the person needs to be hospitalized.