This week the U.S. Center for Disease Control announced that the recent outbreak of salmonella in some states was thanks to hedgehogs. The popular pocket pet as they have come to be referred to, are very popular today in the United States, especially in families with children. It is not surprising since the pets tend to be small and are not like the typical pets most people see in home such as a dog and cats.
The type of care that the pet owner carries out with these hedgehogs is different from the traditional pet. One of the many species of hedgehogs has become worrisome of late. CDC officials announced that in the past 12 months there have been 20 people sickened with salmonella that is both a rare and dangerous form known as Salmonella Typhimurium. Health investigators said the illnesses had been tied to people who had been in contact with pet hedgehogs. Out of the 20 people who were stricken ill, one died.
Other animals are known to be carriers of salmonella and they include but are not limited to lizards, snakes, frogs, toads, turtles and some chicks and ducklings. Even though any species of hedgehog can be a carrier of salmonella, the African Pygmy species has been recently cited as the species that has been tied to the majority of cases being reported.
Officials warn that hedgehogs generally do not look or act ill when they are carrying salmonella and the bacteria is transmitted through their feces.