By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In a follow-up on the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak in Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada reports 21 additional cases, bringing the outbreak total to 32 Salmonella illnesses reported across six provinces.

Image by Silvo Bilinski from Pixabay

Confirmed cases of Salmonella Typhimurium illness have been reported in the following provinces: British Columbia (3), Alberta (6), Saskatchewan (1), Ontario (4), Quebec ( 17), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between June 2017 and October 2020. Four individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to pet hedgehogs has been identified as the likely source of the outbreak. Many of the individuals who became sick reported having direct or indirect contact with hedgehogs before their illnesses occurred. Ill individuals reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or sellers advertising online. The investigation is ongoing to determine if there is a common source of hedgehogs.

Canadians are advised to practice good hand hygiene, frequent handwashing and safe handling of hedgehogs and their environments.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium illnesses that have a similar genetic fingerprint to illnesses reported in this outbreak. Investigators in Canada and the U.S. continue to collaborate to exchange information and identify commonalities in the outbreak information that may help to determine if there is a common source of hedgehogs.