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Pet hedgehogs associated with the outbreak of Salmonella, says CDC

A baby hedgehog (Photo: Al Behrman, AP)

A salmonella outbreak that has affected eight states is in contact with pet hedgehogs, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention will be announced on Friday.

The outbreak hit 11 people on Wednesday, 10 of whom had contact with a hedgehog the week before their illness according to the CDC.

Three cases were reported in Missouri and two cases were reported in Minnesota. According to the CDC, Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming each have one case on January 23 (19659005).

The CDC has previously warned that hedgehogs can carry salmonella. One such warning came in 2013 after an outbreak of hedgehogs was linked to a death.

Since hedgehogs can carry salmonella while appearing healthy, the CDC recommends thorough hand washing after dealing with or cleaning one's habitat.

"Do not kiss or cuddle hedgehogs as they can spread salmonella in your face and mouth and make you sick," says a CDC publication.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea with diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps The disease usually lasts 4 to 7 days, says the CDC.

While most Salmonella patients recover without treatment, the CDC may in some cases lead to death.

Contribution: Cathy Payne and Yagana Shah

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