Normally when you think of Salmonella you think of food recalls and not reptiles. Well, think again, because bearded dragons are making people across the nation sick. And four Washingtonians have been affected.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that over 40 people in 25 states have contracted the illness from bearded dragons. Additionally, 15 of those cases were serious enough to require hospitalization. Due to the large spread nature of this outbreak, the agency said is opening an investigation.
SALMONELLA OUTBREAK: 44 people sick in 25 states from contact with pet bearded dragons.
— CDC (@CDCgov) January 11, 2022
Just how that investigation will be carried out is unclear. Bearded dragons seem likely to use their right to remain silent. But even with that, it is known that the reptiles carry salmonella in their droppings meaning the illness can be quickly spread by handling them.
Now if you or someone you know happens to have a Bearded dragon and is a little freaked out, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself. The CDC recommends washing your hands after touching or feeding your bearded dragon, not kissing it, and keeping the enclosure clean. On the topic of cleaning, they also recommend sanitizing wherever you clean items for the enclosure immediately afterward.