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CDC investigates Salmonella Cotham outbreak linked to bearded dragons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with public health, veterinary, and agriculture officials in many states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Cotham infections linked to contact with pet bearded dragons purchased from multiple stores in different states, according to a CDC release today. Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards, native to Australia, that come in a variety of colors.

Multistate outbreak of S. cotham Image/CDC

Multistate outbreak of S. cotham
Image/CDC

As of April 21, 2014, a total of 132 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Cotham have been reported from 31 states since February 21, 2012.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (4), California (21), Colorado (2), Florida (3), Georgia (1), Idaho (3), Illinois (6), Kansas (6), Kentucky (4), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (5), Minnesota (3), Missouri (7), Nebraska (1), Nevada (3), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (3), New York (10), North Carolina (2), Ohio (1), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (5), South Carolina (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (5), Texas (6), Utah (3), Virginia (3), Washington (4), and Wisconsin (12).

Six out ten people infected are children 5 years of age or younger. 4 out of 10 individuals required hospitalization for their illness. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

Image/Ltshears - Trisha M Shears

Image/Ltshears – Trisha M Shears

Salmonella Cotham is a rare serotype. Searching historical Salmonella databases, CDC determined that Salmonella Cotham represents only 0.01% of all human isolates in the United States since 1963. Before this outbreak, typically less than 25 Salmonella Cotham infections were reported to PulseNet annually. 

The CDC reminds the public of the importance of thorough handwashing with soap and water right after touching reptiles or anything in the area where they live and roam.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Canada health officials investigate salmonella outbreaks linked to chia seed powder, bearded dragons | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] reported exposure to pet bearded dragons. A similar outbreak is being investigated in the United States where 132 from 31 states have been […]

  2. Canada health officials investigate salmonella outbreaks linked to chia seed powder, bearded dragons - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] reported exposure to pet bearded dragons. A similar outbreak is being investigated in the United States where 132 from 31 states have been […]

  3. Bearded Dragons Seen as Salmonella SourceBig Online News | Big Online News says:

    […] CDC investigates Salmonella Cotham outbreak linked to bearded dragons – The Global Dispatch […]

  4. One Health Headlines: Friday, April 25, 2014 | Aardvarks2Zebras says:

    […] CDC Investigates Salmonella Cotham Outbreak Linked To Bearded Dragons Global Dispatch […]

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