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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 04-25-2014, 12:17 AM   #1
Salmonella otbreak linked to Bearded Dragons
Old 04-25-2014, 12:01 PM   #2
this is the full text:

A salmonella outbreak that has so far sickened 132 people in 31 states over the last two years has now been traced to a source pet lizards called bearded dragons, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bearded dragons were purchased from multiple stores in different states, the CDC researchers said today (April 24).

More than half of people infected were children younger than 5, and 42 percent of patients had to be hospitalized. The CDC is continuing to watch for other cases that may be part of this outbreak. [Salmonella Outbreak: 5 Tips for Cooking Chicken Safely]

The outbreak is caused by bacteria called Salmonella cotham, a rare type of salmonella, researchers found. Before this outbreak, typically fewer than 25 Salmonella cotham infections were reported each year.

Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards. They are native to Australia and are found in a variety of colors, including gray, red and yellow. The pet industry is working with public health officials to determine the source of the bearded dragons linked to this outbreak, according to the CDC.

Researchers collected salmonella samples from three patients and found one sample was resistant to ceftriaxone, an antibiotic used to treat serious salmonella infections. The researchers are continuing to test samples from more patients for antibiotic resistance.

The CDC's investigation started when the Wisconsin Department of Health notified the agency last January of a cluster of Salmonella cotham infections with a high number of patients reporting contact with pet lizards. Since 2012, there have been 12 infections with Salmonella Cotham in Wisconsin, and 10 patients reported contact with pet bearded dragons.

So far, the CDC has interviewed 31 patients, and 27 of them have reported contact with reptiles before becoming ill. Twenty-one patients specifically reported contact with bearded dragons.

To avoid catching a disease, the CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water right after touching reptiles, or anything in the area where they live.
Old 04-25-2014, 05:31 PM   #3
Same story different source.

Same story different source.


Reptile-Associated Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Bearded Dragon Lizards, CDC Says

Posted by WendyL | 25. April 2014

A multistate outbreak of salmonella poisoning has been linked to contact with a lizard species called the bearded dragon.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed earlier this week that at least 132 persons have been infected with salmonella as a result of contact with infected bearded dragon lizards.

A multi-state investigation is underway to look into the salmonella outbreak cases that occurred from Feb. 21, 2012 to April 21, 2014.

Multiple bearded dragon breeders who supply the lizards to pet stores have been linked to the recent cases.

Of the 132 cases, 58 percent involved children age 5 or younger. The rare strain of bacteria called Salmonella Cotham also caused the hospitalization of 42 percent of those infected.

In New York, there have been 10 reported cases.

The outbreak impacts a total of 31 states and there have been no reported deaths. Other states involved include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

There was also reptile-associated salmonella cases between 1998 and 2002 with six states involved then.

Serious salmonella infections are treated with an antibiotic known as ceftriaxone, however in the recent outbreak, one individual was found to not respond to the antibiotic indicating antibiotic resistance.

The CDC has advised that children younger than 5 and older adults with compromised immune systems to not handle or touch the reptiles or areas where it may have been. Bathing a bearded dragon or cleaning its tank in the household sink or bathtub is also not advised as salmonella can linger.

For precautionary measures, immediately wash hands with soap and water after handling the reptiles and disinfect surfaces it may have been in contact with. Its also advised to keep reptiles away from food and drinks.

Remember that even healthy and clean appearing reptiles with no signs of illness may be carriers of salmonella bacteria.

Signs and symptoms associated with salmonella bacteria infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness may last 4 to 7 days before recovery with no treatment. Severe cases may result in the infection spreading to the bloodstream, which would require prompt treatment with antibiotics.

[Source: CDC]
Article here.
Old 04-26-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
I had salmonella. I've been handling reptiles my entire life; the CDC traced mine to cantaloupes.
I won't rehash my unappealing story, it's here on Fauna somewhere, but I can strongly advise anyone who gets it (and is otherwise healthy) to just wait it out. Curing it may be far more dangerous. As I sit here today, nearly 2 years later, I still have medical issues.


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