(NATIONAL) – The Centers For
Disease Control (CDC), several
states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service are investigating a multistate outbreak
of Salmonella Enteritidis
began investigating in December 2017 when CDC
a cluster of three Salmonella Enteritidis
infections that whole
genome sequencing showed
were closely related genetically.
review of the PulseNet database identified six more closely related
illnesses dating back to 2015. These illnesses were added to the
outbreak case count.
people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis
have been reported from eight
started on dates ranging from July 17, 2015 to December 15, 2017. One
person was hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.
CDC says epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates “that
contact with pet guinea pigs is the likely source of this multistate
outbreak.” Four of the seven people interviewed reported
contact with a guinea pig or its habitat in the week before getting
outbreak strain of Salmonella was
identified in a sample collected from an ill person’s pet
guinea pig in Vermont.
genome sequencing showed that Salmonella bacteria
isolated from sick people and the guinea pig were closely related
genetically. This result provides more evidence that people in this
outbreak got sick from contact with pet guinea pigs.
CDC statement said, “Whole
genome sequencing did not identify predicted antibiotic resistance in
11 of 13 isolates analyzed (9 ill people and 4 guinea pigs). One
isolate from a sick person and one isolate from a guinea pig
contained genes for resistance to streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and
CDC says this
outbreak “is a reminder that pet rodents such as guinea pigs,
regardless of where they are purchased or adopted, can
carry Salmonella bacteria
even when they look healthy and clean.”
the CDC’s tips to keep you and your pet safe and healthy:
Pick the right pet.
Pet rodents are not recommended as pets for children younger
than 5 years, and should not be kept in childcare centers.
Always wash your
hands after touching, feeding, or caring for pet rodents or cleaning
Read more tips in the Advice to Pet Owners.