While no deaths have been reported, nine people from eight different states have reportedly been infected with salmonella, one has been hospitalized, and the CDC has announced that the infection has been linked to guinea pigs.
Physical contact with guinea pigs while feeding, petting, or caring for them, without properly washing hands, is the common way this disease is transmitted through household pets.
According to the CDC, “This outbreak is a reminder that pet rodents such as guinea pigs, regardless of where they are purchased or adopted, can carry Salmonella bacteria even when they look healthy and clean.”
The CDC also asks pet owners to “pick the right pet for you”, and reminds us that rodents may not be the safest pet option “for families with children younger than 5 years, pregnant women, elderly adults, or people with weakened immune systems.”
Do you have a guinea pig or a different type of pet rodent? Have you noticed possible symptoms of salmonella lately? Symptoms often include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps for up to 72 hours after being exposed. Once infected, expect the symptoms to persist for four to seven days.