Pet Reptiles and Amphibians Could Expose Owners to Salmonella
While many people associate Salmonella exposure risks with eating or drinking contaminated foods and beverages, far fewer recognize that they could also be exposed to it from a family’s pet reptile or amphibian.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Reptiles and amphibians might have Salmonella germs on their bodies even when they appear healthy and clean. The germs can also get on cages, aquariums, terrariums, the water reptiles and amphibians live or swim in, and other containers that house them. Anything that reptiles and amphibians touch should be considered possibly contaminated with Salmonella. When you touch reptiles and amphibians, the germs can get on your hands or clothing.”
Each year, the CDC reports that Salmonella from various sources is estimated to cause one million illnesses in the United States with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths. Young children are at increased risk for Salmonella infection because their immune systems are still developing and they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.
“If you have pet reptiles or amphibians, it is important to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and hot water after touching them or their habitat,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Because young children are at greater risk than adults for becoming sick, some health advocates recommend that these types of pets are kept out of homes with children younger than 5 years old or with people who have weakened immune systems.”
For those concerned about the possible presence of Salmonella in their home, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers testing services and all of sampling supplies necessary. EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about Salmonella exposure risks from pet reptiles and amphibians that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/IRJVx2_qGQM.
To learn more about testing for Salmonella or other microbial pathogens and contaminants, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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- Joseph Frasca
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- EMSL Analytical, Inc.
- (1) (856) 303-2503
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