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Bearded dragons seen as salmonella source

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bearded dragons apparently have joined the list of pets that can give you salmonella poisoning.

In the last two years, 132 people in 31 states have been infected with a rare form of salmonella bacteria. About two dozen of the sick people said they'd handled bearded dragons - a popular lizard native to Australia that comes in several colors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued a report on the outbreak. CDC officials warned owners should wash their hands thoroughly after handling the lizards and keep them out of the kitchen, sinks and bathtubs, and away from small children.

Other pets that carry the salmonella bug include frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, hedgehogs, chicks and ducklings.

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bdgrizcp April 24 2014 at 5:33 PM

After 19 years as a maintenance supervisor in a large apartment complex you can bet I've seen lots of exotic pets. (And exotic people, to be fair.) But in all that time I only saw one hedgehog. Cute little thing. The weirdest was this teenager whose mom let him keep scorpions. The cutest had to be a real Hemingway cat from Key West. It was double and triple pawed. It was the only thing I was ever tempted to steal--the cat would be standing next to the door (like a dog) whenever I had to go in and would follow me around, purring like mad the whole time.

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betty April 25 2014 at 7:37 AM

Most people know that salmonella is spread through handling animals of varying species. That is why one should wear a mask when cleaning utensils and holding pens where dust may be stirred up. Always wash your hands after handling pets and the above listed items. Wash hands after handling raw meats, eggs, and anything else that may transfer bacteria, including cutting boards.
65 years ago my father taught me to wash my hands after handling my pet turtles so this really isn't news to most people. Train children to wash after handling or petting any of their pets. Round worms and other parasitic worms' eggs can be transferred from animals that lick themselves in grooming to their fur and petting transfers them to person's hands which if not washed may be ingested making you or your child a host for the worm. Not to worry. Just have good hygiene.

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sscenes April 24 2014 at 7:48 PM

Leave them be!

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bnevrgivup April 24 2014 at 7:28 PM

Stop importing hapless creatures from foriegn habitats and such issues will not arise. In South Florida, foriegn lizzards and snakes have come into our tropical Everglades and FL communities, are taking over native species food supplies and killing them off as prey as well. These have been introduced through pet releases as well as stored within imported argiculture and shipping containers. So going down to your local pet shop and buying one of these hapless creatures is not helping our habitat nor is it helping the dwindling speicies world wide. As if we don't already have enough BS in this world. Global Warming, over fishing, over population encroaching on tropical habitats all over the world, poaching, over farming due to over population, countries building massive bombs to keep their neighbors in check, and of course Religion, that's the real winner...etc. etc, etc.

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shastadog93 April 25 2014 at 8:39 AM

My teenager has had a beardie for two years. He is a happy, healthy lizard that is well cared for and has been a great pet. We bought him from a reputable pet store and, just like our dog and cats, he was checked out by a vet to make sure he was in good condition. He lives in a big tank in her room, gets the proper light, food and exercise to keep him healthy. He likes to cuddle and swim in his pool and play games with his food.

Reptiles can be great pets. What you have to remember is that any animal that lives in a cage with its own feces is potentially a source of contamination to its handlers. Keep their living spaces clean, don't let them soil your living spaces, and wash your hands before and after handling them. They are not appropriate pets for small children, people with compromised immune systems and people that are not committed to keeping their pets and themselves healthy. Not really any different requirements than for any other pet.

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Dianne April 24 2014 at 6:52 PM

Guess I'll just have to stay away from handling bearded dragons. Aw shucks, and I was so looking forward to doing just that! NOT!!

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douttfire April 24 2014 at 6:44 PM

They've been saying for years that reptiles carry salmonella. Wash your hands.

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petpetdon douttfire April 24 2014 at 11:39 PM

Is Obama a reptile?

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cathiehrdy April 24 2014 at 6:01 PM

Is it so hard to simply wash your hands after handling these animals? Guess so.

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1 reply
Robi Blake cathiehrdy April 24 2014 at 6:21 PM

You'd be surprised by how many people have poor hygiene habit. Having worked in the medical field for many years, I had a co-worker that would go to the bathroom, run her hands under cold water with NO soap for a couple of seconds, and then dry them. I was so tempted to ask her why bother?? If you don't use a little soap and hot water, it's pointless!

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1 reply
bnevrgivup Robi Blake April 24 2014 at 7:30 PM

You should have forgotten the friendly false bs and told her to wake up!

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waphotomn April 25 2014 at 1:13 AM

Bearded Dragon...Sounds like an old girlfriend

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1 reply
charlie4562r waphotomn April 25 2014 at 1:54 AM

Hope the beard was down there!!

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thinkfirst April 25 2014 at 12:25 AM

ANY reptile is a carrier for salmonella in thier feces - that is why my mom would never let any of us have any type of reptile for a pet 50 years ago. Not new information.

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