The Center of Disease Control, CDC, has linked hedgehogs to a salmonella outbreak.
So far 11 people in eight states have been infected. One person was even hospitalized.
It started back in October and 10 of the 11 people said they’d been in contact with a pet hedgehog before they got sick. The CDC says most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. Typically, the illness lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean. Germs can easily spread to their bodies and anything in the area where they live.
Pick the right pet for your family. Children under 5 years old, adults over 65, or people with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk for serious illness. Households with these individuals might consider a different pet.
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, because 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 or stored, such as kitchens.
Clean hedgehog habitats, toys, and supplies outside the house when possible.