Salmonella outbreak linked to pet bearded dragons, CDC says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned on Monday of an outbreak of salmonella linked to bearded dragons.

In an investigation notice, the agency said 44 illnesses and 15 hospitalizations had been reported in 25 states.

THE UNKNOWN SOURCE SALMONELLA EPIDEMIC SPREADS TO 29 STATES

No deaths have been reported.

“Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies and anything in the area where they live and roam.” , explained the CDC. “You can get sick by touching your bearded dragon or anything in its surroundings, then touching your mouth and swallowing salmonella germs.”

To stay healthy around bearded dragons, owners should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching or feeding or cleaning the area where they live, avoid kissing or snuggling the bearded dragon, make sure you don’t eat or drink around him, keep him away from the kitchen, keep bearded dragon supplies out of the house, and clean supplies away from the kitchen.

The CDC noted that bearded dragons and other reptiles are not recommended for children under 5, adults 65 and over, and people with weakened immune systems.

A bearded dragon is perched on a person's palm

A bearded dragon is perched on a person’s palm
(iStock)

The Salmonella bacteria cause an estimated 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the United States each year, and food is the cause of most of these illnesses.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps and usually begin six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria.

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Most people recover without treatment after four to seven days.

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However, some people – especially those with weakened immune systems, children under 5, and adults over 65 – may have a more serious illness, requiring medical treatment or hospitalization.

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