Worms & Germs Blog

Archives: Salmonella

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HIV/AIDS, kids and pets

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases, Parasites, Salmonella
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections Among HIV-exposed and HIV-infected Children. A small but still important part of this document involves recommendations for contact with animals. It’s a nice, balanced document that acknowledges the risk but doesn’t make unnecessarily restrictive recommendations. Among… Continue Reading

G-force and zoonotic disease

Posted in Pocket pets, Salmonella
It seems like whenever a hit TV show or movie features an animal, there’s concern about the "101 Dalmatians effect," whereby there’s a mad rush to get the animal for a pet. When 101 Dalmatians was a hit movie, there was a huge spike in sales of this rather unusual breed – a breed which… Continue Reading

Salmonella Apapa from a reptile

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
A recent case report in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Cooke et al. 2009) described isolation of Salmonella Apapa from the feces of a 67-year-old woman with abdominal pain. The patient had a history of various medical disorders but no clear evidence of a compromised immune system. She was hospitalized, and Salmonella Apapa was identified from… Continue Reading

More about turtles and Salmonella

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
In response to recent posts about Salmonella and turtles, a reader posed these questions: Okay, so turtles and tortoises can carry salmonella.  Does that mean that all do?  Not all, but a lot of them do. Aquatic turtles are probably a greater risk than tortoises. If a vet analyzes a poop sample from my Russian… Continue Reading

Red eared slider turtle rebuttal

Posted in Other animals, Salmonella
Following a report on black market turtle sales in Maryland, a letter to the Baltimore Sun by Maryland veterinarian Dr. Jeffery Rhody wanted to "set the record straight". "All reptiles carry salmonella as part of the normal bacterial population in their body." Not really true, however Salmonella can commonly be found in healthy reptiles, so… Continue Reading

Black market turtles in Baltimore

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
There is apparently a thriving black market for baby red-eared slider turtles in Baltimore. The sale  (and possession) of small turtles is illegal in Maryland, like many other regions, largely because of public health concerns regarding Salmonella. Over 100 hatchling turtles have been seized in the past 2 weeks. Baby turtles offer a good profit… Continue Reading

Songbird fever: Salmonella in birds and cats

Posted in Birds, Cats, Salmonella
As is common this time of year, outbreaks of Salmonella infection in wild birds have been widely reported in parts of the US. Salmonella circulates regularly at low levels in the wild bird population, and sporadic outbreaks involving large numbers of sick and dead birds are periodically encountered. These are often noticed in urban areas… Continue Reading

Baby chicks in preschools

Posted in Salmonella
Just last week I blogged about concerns regarding young children handling baby chicks in classrooms.  Baby chicks are high-risk animals because of the potential for transmission of Salmonella.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children less than 5 years of age not have contact with baby chicks for this reason. Unfortunately,… Continue Reading

CDC recommendations for people with HIV

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases, Reptiles, Salmonella
The latest edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‘s publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports consists of the revised Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Among the highlights relevant to pets: HIV-infected patients should be advised to wash their hands after handling pets or other… Continue Reading

Bird seed recall: Salmonella

Posted in Birds, Salmonella
As you undoubtedly know, a large Salmonella outbreak has occurred in the US, associated with contaminated peanuts. The scope of this outbreak continues to expand in unexpected areas, including pets. The latest development is a voluntary recall of bird seed. The recall affects 20-pound packages of Wild Birds Unlimited Wildlife Blend bird food (produced by… Continue Reading

Hatching chicks in classrooms

Posted in Birds, Salmonella
My oldest daughter is in Grade 2, and last year her class hatched chicken eggs in the classroom. As a parent, I was somewhat torn about the idea. My main concern was the risk of exposure to Salmonella. A recent article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports described outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with contact with live… Continue Reading

Stupid things done with snakes

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
A Las Vegas woman reportedly agreed to babysit a friend’s pet python. She brought the 18-foot snake into her house, where her three-year-old son also lived. Bad move, for many reasons. At one point, the woman returned from the bathroom to find the snake wrapped around her son, who was turning blue. The mother stabbed… Continue Reading

Salmonella and turtles info sheet

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
BarfBlog is a food safety blog run by Dr. Doug Powell, who used to be at the University of Guelph, before moving to Kansas State. (I played hockey with him and can confidently state that he is one of the better hockey goalies working in food safety in Kansas). Doug and his group have put… Continue Reading

Organic meat is not sterile!

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Salmonella
I frequently get e-mails from people who are proponents of feeding raw meat to pets. The e-mails often start by calling me an idiot, and they generally go downhill from there. Some, however, go into detail about why they think there are no health concerns for themselves or their pets associated with feeding raw meat.… Continue Reading

Nontraditional Pets and Children: Beware

Posted in Birds, Other animals, Pocket pets, Reptiles, Salmonella
A report about the health risks in children associated with nontraditional pets was recently published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report also discusses diseases associated with animals in public settings such as petting zoos and pet stores.  Although contact with pets and animals can be beneficial to growth… Continue Reading

Rawhide treat recall: Salmonella

Posted in Dogs, Salmonella
Hartz Mountain Corporation has voluntarily recalled one lot of its chicken-basted rawhide chews for dogs because of potential contamination with Salmonella.  Rawhide treats, as the name suggests, are raw treats that  are literally made from the hide of typically cattle or pigs. The finding of Salmonella in rawhide treats is not particularly surprising, since Salmonella… Continue Reading

Your mother was right! Wash your hands

Posted in Birds, Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, Horses, MRSA/MRSP, Other animals, Other diseases, Parasites, Pocket pets, Reptiles, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis
You may notice a recurring theme in many of our posts and on virtually all of the information sheets on the Worms & Germs Resources page: an emphasis on handwashing. There is increasing emphasis on hand hygiene (i.e. hand washing and use of alcohol hand sanitizers) education in hospitals because the hands of healthcare workers… Continue Reading