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Old 05-07-2003, 10:55 AM   #1
Post Salmonella bacteria and reptiles.. Reptile educational handout

Salmonella bacteria and reptiles.. Reptile educational handout
This handout was developed by the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is intended for informational purposes only;

Salmonella Bacteria and Reptiles:
...An Educational handout sheet, f.y.i..

Most, if not all, reptiles carry Salmonella bacteria in their intestinal tract and intermittently or continuously shed these bacteria in their feces. Salmonella bacteria usually do not cause any illness in reptiles, but can cause serious illness in people.

Salmonella bacteria are easily spread from reptiles to humans.
Humans may become infected when they place their hands on objects, including food items, that have been in contact with the stool of reptiles, in their mouths. For example, infants have become infected after drinking from bottles of infant formula that became contaminated during preparation. Individuals ho prepared the formula had not washed their hands after touching a reptile or because reptiles were allowed to walk on kitchen counters.

For Salmonella bacteria to spread from reptiles to humans, the bacteria must be ingested. Therefore, simply touching or holding a reptiles will not result in spread of bacteria unless something contaminated with reptiles feces or the reptile itself is placed in the mouth.

Most Salmonella infections in humans result in a mild, self-limiting illness characterized by diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. However, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, bone marrow or nervous system, leading to severe, and sometimes fatal, illness.
Such severe infections are more likely to occurs in infants and in individuals whose immune system is compromised (for instance, bone marrow transplant recipients, persons with diabetes mellitus, persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, and chemotherapy patients).

Unfortunately, Salmonella bacteria cannot be eliminated from the intestinal tract of reptiles. Administration of antibiotics to eliminate these bacteria has been unsuccessful and may result in emergence of Salmonella bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Attempt to raise or identify reptiles that do not carry Salmonella bacteria have also been unsuccessful; therefore, bacterial culture of stool samples in an attempt to identify reptiles that are not carrying Salmonella bacteria is not recommended.

Fortunately the spread of Salmonella bacteria from reptiles to humans can be easily prevented by using the following routine precautions:

* Always wash your hands with hot, soapy water after handling reptiles, reptile cages and equipment, and the stool of reptiles.

* Do not allow reptiles to have access to the kitchen, dining room, or any other area in which food is prepared. Also, do not allow reptiles to have access to bathroom sinks and tubs or to any area where infants are bathed. Consider keeping your reptiles caged or limiting the parts of the house where reptiles are allowed to roam free. Always wash your hands after coming into contact with any area where reptiles are allowed to roam free.

* Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling reptiles, reptiles cages, or reptile equipment. Do not kiss reptiles or share food or drink with them.

* Do not use the kitchen sink, kitchen counters, bathroom sinks or bathtubs to bathe reptiles or to wash reptile cages, dishes or aquariums. Reptile owners may wish to purchase a plastic basin or tub in which to bathe or swim their reptiles. Waste water and fecal material should be disposed of in the toilet instead of the bathtub or household sink.

* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children less than five years of age avoid contact with reptiles and that households with children less than one year of age not own reptiles.
The Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians encourages reptile owners with young children to discuss steps to minimize risks associated with owning reptiles with their reptiles' veterinarian and their physician.

Children should be supervised when they are handling reptiles to ensure that they do not place their hands or objects that a reptile has contacted in their mouths. Reptiles should not be kept in child care centers.

* Immunocompromised persons should avoid contact with reptiles.

* Follow instructions from your reptile's veterinarian concerning proper diet and environment for your reptile. Healthy reptiles living in proper environments are less likely to shed Salmonella bacteria.

Information in this handout is not meant to discourage reptile ownership.

With a few exceptions (for example, infants or immunocompromised individuals), most people have a low risk of acquiring salmonellosis from reptiles, but this risk can be reduced even further by following simple precautions.

Reptiles can be safely kept as pets, but reptile owners should be aware of the methods for reducing their risk of acquiring Salmonella bacteria from their reptiles.
Old 05-07-2003, 11:27 AM   #2
Seamus Haley
Care to give the case details for a reptile related salmonella infection causing death?

Say... the patients name, the dates infection and death occured, the doctor or medical facility that determined it was related to contact with a reptile and a brief rundown of the case progression?
Old 05-07-2003, 12:51 PM   #3
Post Unsubstantiated got me

Most Salmonella infections in humans result in a mild, self-limiting illness characterized by diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
However, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, bone marrow or nervous system, leading to severe, and sometimes fatal, illness.
Big tough guys got nothing to worry about.
The just think they got hold of a bad batch of beer

It's the Human babies, gramma's and sick people that are of primary concern. ignorance is not bliss.

Being a good little "comrade", I just puppet the official party line as far as deaths are concerned.
It never dawned on me that the C.D.C. would be lying about reptile related deaths occuring...And the A.R.A. Vets as part of the conspiracy, how diabolical.
Old 05-09-2003, 02:00 AM   #4
Is the AARAV handing out information on the all the pet animals that carry diseases, or just the unpopular ones? I'd like to see the size of a handout detailing all the illnesses one could obtain from, say, a cat.
Also, since the CDC's website says that any vertebrate animal, including goldfish, can carry salmonella, I'm sure they're handing out salmonella info to everyone who owns a pet?
And, of course, I hope that all supermarkets are now posting up signs recommending that cookie dough not enter homes containing children under one year of age? Surely it's just as likely that mommy would forget to wash her hands after whipping up a batch of oatmeal raisin as it is she would forget to clean up after nuzzling Mr. Spiky.
It's not that salmonella transmission from reptiles isn't a valid concern (right?), it's just no fun being singled out when all the other pets and a frightening percentage of food products out there are equally disease-ridden. It's almost like they're trying to spread fear. I wonder why that would be? Surely they don't want to take our pets away?

Erin B.
Who is able to kiss snakes because of a salmonella resistance built up from years of eating raw cookie dough

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