The Hollywood effect is quite real when it comes to various trends, including pets (remember the glut of Dalmatians after 101 Dalmatians?). I can understand how seeing a cute puppy of some breed might lead to people wanting to get one. However, when Disney’s The Princess and the Frog was released, I didn’t really think a lot of people who watched this movie were going to start running around kissing frogs. I assumed that some degree of common sense would apply. Apparently, I was wrong.
Various news outlets are reporting that at least 50 children (mainly kids under the age of 10) have become sick in the US after copying the movie’s Princess Tiana by kissing frogs. There’s not a lot of information regarding what they contracted, whether the illnesses were all clearly linked to frogs, or whether these were truly associated with the movie, but there are certainly disease risks associated with kissing a frog. While we pay more attention to reptiles as a source of Salmonella, the risk is also present with frogs, and the best thing is to do is assume that all frogs are carrying this potentially harmful bacterium. Accordingly, high-risk people (e.g. kids less than 5 years of age, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems) should have no contact with frogs – they shouldn’t even be in the same house. Hands should always be washed after touching a frog, and no one should ever kiss a frog. The chances of living happily ever after with a prince are much lower than the chances of a nasty bout of diarrhea (or worse)!