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 May 15, 2005
'Pocket' Pets Transmit Drug-Resistant Salmonella: CDC
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Small furry pets like mice, hamsters and rats are responsible for an outbreak that's caused 30 people in at least 10 states to become sick with Salmonella that's resistant to a number of different antibiotics, say U.S. health officials.

Six of the victims were hospitalized for fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea, the Associated Press reported.

Some of the people contracted the bacteria from their pets while others were infected by other people.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating last summer after a Minnesota boy became sick after playing with a pet mouse that had severe diarrhea and later died. Further investigation revealed numerous other cases from December 2003 to October 2004.

Salmonella infections are commonly caught from reptile pets. But this outbreak shows that pets like hamsters, mice and rats can also transmit Salmonella. Rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and gerbils are also potential carriers, the CDC warned.


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