Posted in Health, news, pets

Avoid Kissing Your Pet Hedgehog

Having high-maintenance cats and dogs my whole life, I find how a pet hedgehog can be appealing. However, the CDC has issued a warning to those with the cuddly critters to not kiss them as 11 people from 8 states have come down with Salmonella.

On their website the CDC reports the following:

  • Eleven people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from eight states (CO, ME, MN, MS, MO, NE, TX, WY).

  • One person has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

  • Fifty-five percent of the ill people are children under 12.

  • Ten of the 11 ill people reported contact with a pet hedgehog.

  • The outbreak strain making people sick was found in samples collected from three hedgehogs in two ill patients’ homes.

  • A common supplier of hedgehogs in this outbreak has not been identified. Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online.

  • Illnesses started from October 22, 2018 to December 25, 2018.

  • CDC continues to monitor PulseNet to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak.

  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.



Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, chills, rash, diarrhea and stomach cramps within 12-72 hours after exposure. The illness can last 4-7 days, although most people will recover without treatment.

If you are of the silent majority of pet owners who worship their hedgehog, keep them away from the kitchen, avoid in households with immunocompromised family members and wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.


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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.


Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, Author

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