Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 31, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Seven people sickened by hedgehogs, one person died in Washington state

In this file photo, a young hedgehog curls up in the hands of its owner at a hedgehog club exhibit in Anchorage, Alaska. Hedgehogs can sicken people by passing on a rare form of salmonella bacteria. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

The Associated Press

UPDATED: 1 p.m. | Add those cute little hedgehogs to the list of pets that can make you sick.

In the last year, 20 people were infected by a rare but dangerous form of salmonella bacteria. Seven were in Washington state and one of them died.

Investigators say the illnesses were linked to contact with hedgehogs kept as pets.

Health officials on Thursday say such cases seem to be increasing.

In Washington state, two of the seven cases were in Pierce County and lone cases were in King, Clark, Thurston, Whitman and Spokane counties, said state Health Department spokesman Tim Church. The man who died was more than 80-years-old from Spokane and passed away earlier this month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends thoroughly washing your hands after handling hedgehogs. Also, clean pet cages and other equipment outside.

Other pets that carry the salmonella bug are frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, lizards, chicks and ducklings.

Seven of the hedgehog illnesses were in Washington state, including the death. The other cases were in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Oregon.

0 Comments | More in General news, Health | Topics: hedgehogs, salmonella

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►