[Ed. – We know. It’s hard to stop.]
First, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said not to kiss or snuggle with your chickens; now, the agency is cautioning against PDA with pet hedgehogs.
They may be cute — if prickly — but lab tests in an ongoing investigation show that pet hedgehogs are probably to blame for a multistate salmonella outbreak.
Eleven people are infected in eight states, according to the CDC. There have been no reported deaths, but one person has been hospitalized. The illnesses started in October. Ten of the eleven infected patients said they had contact with a pet hedgehog before becoming sick.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps, which can last four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. Among patients who experience severe illness, the infection can, in rare cases, cause death if not treated promptly with antibiotics.
There are an estimated 1.2 million salmonella cases in the United States annually, and various foods are to blame for about 1 million of those illnesses, according to the CDC.