(KFVS) - The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating a salmonella outbreak linked to pet hedgehogs.
As of Sept. 22, a total of 32 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in 17 states across the U.S.
Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean.
Hedgehog owners should take these steps to prevent infection:
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog or cleaning its habitat.
Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.
- Don’t kiss or snuggle hedgehogs. This can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick.
Don’t let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or dining rooms.
- Clean habitats, toys, and supplies outside the house when possible.
Avoid cleaning these items in the kitchen or any other location where food is prepared, served, or stored.
The CDC does not recommend Hedgehogs and other small pets for children under 5 years old, adults aged 65 and older, or people with weakened immune systems because they are at greater risk for serious illness from germs that pets can carry.