FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Ten more cases of salmonella linked to pet hedgehogs have been reported in the United States, bringing the total to 27, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest cases were reported in six states: California, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.
Forty-two percent of those sickened are kids 12 years and younger, and two people have been hospitalized, the CDC said. No deaths have been reported in the outbreak that began Oct. 22, 2018.
The patients bought hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders or online, the CDC noted.
"This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available," the agency said in a news release.
Even if hedgehogs look healthy and clean, they can have salmonella in their droppings, and it's easily spread to their bodies and throughout their living areas, the CDC warned.
Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after exposure. They're typically ill for four to seven days, and most recover without treatment.
It's important to protect yourself when keeping pet hedgehogs, the CDC advises.
"Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog or cleaning its habitat," the CDC said. Adults should supervise young children as they wash up.
And you should never kiss or snuggle a hedgehog because this can spread salmonella to your face and mouth, and make you sick. Don't let hedgehogs roam freely in kitchens or other areas where food is prepared or stored.
When possible, clean hedgehog habitats, toys and supplies outside your home.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on salmonella.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, May 31, 2019
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