CDC Links Pet Bearded Dragons to Salmonella Outbreak

CDC Links Pet Bearded Dragons to Salmonella Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to pet bearded dragons. The outbreak has resulted in 15 illnesses across nine states, including California, Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Of those affected, 60% are children under five years old, and four individuals have been hospitalized. There have been no reported deaths.

Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella bacteria in their droppings, which can spread to their bodies and the surfaces they come into contact with. The CDC advises that bearded dragons are not suitable pets for children under five, adults over 65, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Recommended precautions include thorough handwashing after handling the reptiles or cleaning their habitats, avoiding close contact such as kissing or snuggling, and keeping the animals away from areas where food is prepared or consumed. The CDC emphasizes the importance of educating pet owners on these safety measures to prevent further infections.

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