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cases of Salmonella associated with the hedgehog spread to more states, the CDC warns


As of Friday, 17 people across the country have been infected with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, that the CDC first warned in January can be attributed to pet hedgehogs.

No one died, but two people were hospitalized.

"Epidemiological and laboratory data indicate that exposure to pet hedgehogs with & # 39 is the likely source of this outbreak," said the CDC in the investigation report.

In Virginia, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors legalized domestic hedgehogs in January – just a few days before the CDC published the first notice that it was investigating the outbreak of salmonella in connection with the creatures. A special effort to do the same in DC failed in December.

It does not seem that the recent legalization of pet hedgehogs in Fairfax County related to two cases reported in the state on the basis of information provided by the Virginia Department of Health.

Both people sickened lived in southwest Virginia "was definitely one hedgehog exposure," said Maribeth Brewster, a spokesman for the department.

"Wash hands after handling and clean up after these types of domestic animals and all animals can reduce the likelihood of disease transmission," she added.

In other states, where people were experiencing hostility with a strain of salmonella include Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

The largest number of cases come from Minnesota and Missouri, with three each.

Elaine Becker, who took care of more than 100 hedgehogs for many years in her work at a local animal rescue in Roanoke, Virginia, said having pets, hedgehogs was the recent admiration. People have become fascinated by the lovely creatures, but do not know how to care for them. Household urchins, usually in the cells and works on a wheel, where the poop can stay on his feet, she said. Pet owners must clean hedgehog cage every week and pick up litter on a daily basis – preferably with gloves to avoid diseases.

"After touching any animal or raw food wash their hands," said Becker, also a & # 39; is a member of the Society Hedgehog Welfare Association and the International Hedgehog. "You would not allow your child to play with raw chicken and then allow them to stick their hands in their mouths."

Hedgehogs have become so popular that many of them have their own social media accounts. Splash hedgehog demand also resulted in some jurisdictions in recent years to lift the ban on having them as pets.

Officials identified the Salmonella strain in the recent outbreak after studying samples collected from eight urchins in Minnesota, including three who were in the houses of two people who are sick. Most of those who are ill, it seems, young children, according to the CDC.

Of the people surveyed, 13 out of 15 said the hedgehog had contact with before they get sick, but CDC said it has not found a common supplier, which can be the source of the outbreak.

"Hedgehogs can carry salmonella bacteria in their feces, and a & # 39; being a healthy and clean," warned the CDC.

But some longtime fans of this needle bed embodied say recent CDC warning urchins garbage.

Zug Standing Bear, who took care of more than 500 hedgehogs in 20 years after his escape, based in Colorado, said the recent warning from the CDC echoes classified agencies sent in 2012 in the same year, the CDC reported 20 cases of salmonella – including one death – in the eight states where the hedgehog was in someone's home sick.

Standing Bear said Hedgehog-related diseases can be random and statistically, this should not deter people from responsibility of owning one as a pet.

Becker said the latest CDC announcement provides an unfair isolated hedgehog. Many domestic animals such as turtles and birds, can carry salmonella, Becker said. Following the rules of hygiene and common sense to do research before buying a hedgehog – or any pet – can prevent problems.

"They can make wonderful pets, but they are not for everyone," said Becker. "If you can not cope with the stern and feed them Mealworms, get a stuffed animal."

This article was written Lynh Bui, a reporter for The Washington Post.

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