Water frogs linked to Salmonella outbreak

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The CDC has released an alert about a new Salmonella outbreak in humans who have been in contact with water frogs.

Following is more info:

Outbreak Information

  • As of 11 a.m. on December 7, 2009, 48 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 25 states.
  • Infected individuals range in age from <1>
  • No deaths have been reported.

Information about Salmonella Infection

  • Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection.
  • The illness usually lasts from 4 to 7 days.
  • Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample.
  • Although most people recover without treatment, severe infections may occur. Infants, elderly persons, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. When severe infection occurs, Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
  • More general information about Salmonella can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/salmonellosis_gi.html.

Steps for Consumers
General Steps

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching any amphibian (e.g., frog) or reptile (e.g, turtle), their housing, or anything (for example, food) that comes in contact with them or their housing. Adults should assist young children with hand washing.
  • Watch for symptoms of Salmonella infection, such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Call your health care provider if you or a family member have any of these symptoms.

Persons who should avoid contact with amphibians and reptiles and their habitats (e.g., aquarium, fish tank, or terrarium)

  • Persons at increased risk for serious infection from salmonellosis are children <>
  • These persons should avoid contact with amphibians (e.g., frogs) and reptiles (e.g., turtles) and anything that comes in contact with them (e.g., aquarium, habitat, and water).
  • Keep amphibians and reptiles out of homes with children <>

Placement and maintenance of habitats

  • Amphibians (e.g., frogs) and reptiles (e.g., turtles) should not be kept in child-care centers.
  • Habitats containing amphibians or reptiles should not be kept in a child’s bedroom, especially children aged <>
  • Do not allow amphibians or reptiles to roam freely through the house, especially in food preparation areas.
  • Keep amphibians and reptiles out of kitchens and other areas where food and drink is prepared or served to prevent contamination.
  • Habitats and their contents should be carefully cleaned outside of the home. Use disposable gloves when cleaning and do not dispose of water in sinks used for food preparation or for obtaining drinking water.
  • Do not bathe animals or their habitats in your kitchen sink. If bathtubs are used for these purposes, they should be thoroughly cleaned afterward. Use bleach to disinfect a tub or other place where reptile or amphibian habitats are cleaned.
  • Children aged <5>
  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after cleaning habitats.

For more information, contact the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), cdcinfo@cdc.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typh1209.