The Centers for Disease control and Prevention in United States has warned children and adults to stop holding their pet hedgehogs and chickens as it is likely to cause salmonella. The recent outbreak of salmonella across various states that led the CDC to investigate the reason for this incident discovered that a majority of them had contact with pet hedgehogs before becoming ill. Tests done on eleven people that were investigated across eight states showed that though none were serious one had to be hospitalized and almost all of them had pet hedgehogs.
Salmonella poisoning leads to severe diarrhea, fever and cramps in the stomach that can last for almost a week and people can go through the illness by remaining hydrated and avoiding spicy food. Death occurs only in very rare cases if the person is not treated with antibiotics in time. Around 1.2 million cases of salmonella poisoning occurs in United States annually due to unhealthy street food or lack of hygiene while eating food. Even if pet owners keep the pen of their hedgehog clean bacteria and germs can spread across furniture, toys and every other place in the house where they roam from their droppings.
So experts say that pets should be kept out of the kitchen or dining area where food is consumed. Also their toys should be cleaned thoroughly and owners should avoid kissing or hugging them close. CDC has also warned parents of children that have hedgehogs or chicken as pets to ensure that their wards wash their hands thoroughly after playing around with them and avoid eating anything during their playtime with pets. Salmonella is a common foodborne illness and can also occur from eggs and meat products that have not been cleaned properly before cooking. Even fruits and vegetables that are not washed properly before consumption can cause salmonella poisoning.