Kids Face Salmonella Risk from Pet Frogs

A common pet frog, the African tree frog, may be the culprit in an outbreak of salmonella, a potentially deadly bacteria that causes severe intestinal upset.  An investigation by public health researchers the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and published in the journal Pediatrics, found the link.  More from CNN:

A group of health professionals make up the Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Investigation Team, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, the team has been examining the effects of African dwarf frogs on people’s health.

“Amphibians and reptiles should never be kept in homes with children less than 5 years old or with people who have immune deficiencies,” said lead author and CDC public health advisor Shauna Mettee Zarecki. This includes day care settings and nursing homes, she said.

This investigation is the first to report a nationwide Salmonella outbreak associated with amphibians.

The team examined an outbreak of that strain from 2008 to 2011 and identified 376 cases of Salmonella in 44 states to use in a matched case-control study. The control group was made up of people with recent Salmonella infections other than the outbreak strain, and the cases group included people with the outbreak strain infection. About 70% of those infected were children younger than 10 years old.

Image: Tree frog, via Shutterstock

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