Salmonella is a common infection that’s usually caused by eating raw or undercooked foods. However, approximately 74,000 cases each year are caused by persons having close contact with certain types of reptiles or amphibians. In this podcast, Dr. Linda Capewell discusses ways to prevent becoming infected with salmonella. Created: 1/21/2010 by MMWR.
Date Released: 1/21/2010. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
Wash Away Salmonella
Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Associated with
Aquatic Frogs — United States, 2008–2009
Recorded: January 19, 2010; posted: January 21, 2010
[Announcer] This podcast is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC — safer, healthier people.
[Dr. Gaynes] Welcome to A Cup of Health with CDC, a weekly feature of the MMWR, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. I’m your host, Dr. Robert Gaynes.
Salmonella is a common infection that’s usually caused by eating raw or undercooked foods.
However, approximately 74,000 cases each year are caused by persons having close contact with
certain types of reptiles or amphibians.
Dr. Linda Capewell is an EIS Officer with CDC’s Division of Foodborne and Mycotic Diseases.
She’s joining us today to discuss ways to prevent becoming infected with salmonella. Welcome
to the show, Linda.
[Dr. Capewell] Thank you.
[Dr. Gaynes] Linda, what animals are most likely to transmit salmonella to humans?
[Dr. Capewell] Animals to remember are birds, especially young birds or chicks; reptiles, like turtles and snakes; and especially amphibians, such as frogs, which was the case in our most
recent salmonella outbreak.
[Dr. Gaynes] What types of interactions with these animals can lead to salmonella?
[Dr. Capewell] Well, there’s two types of interactions to be concerned about. First is when
people are coming in contact with a reptile or a frog, especially in young children. They’re either
putting it up to their mouth or they’re just not washing their hands properly after contacting these
animals. The second is when people tend to wash these aquariums in the kitchen and as a result,
they’re contaminating their food in these food prep areas.
[Dr. Gaynes] If a person has one of these animals as a pet, what precautions should they take to avoid salmonella infection?
[Dr. Capewell] Well it’s really best to keep young children under five away from these types of animals or their habitats, as well as those with weakened immune systems, because they’re more
likely to become seriously infected with this illness. And also, for those that do have these
animals in their homes, it’s important to remember to wash your hands really well after touching
a reptile or frog or touching their environment or habitat. And also, for those people that have
these animals in their homes, we recommend that you wash the aquarium or tank outside the
home, and especially not in a food prep area like your kitchen sink because you can contaminate
[Dr. Gaynes] What are the symptoms of salmonella?
[Dr. Capewell] So most people infected with salmonella have diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain
and it usually develops within 12 hours to three days after they are infected with salmonella.
[Dr. Gaynes] How is the condition treated?
[Dr. Capewell] Most people can recover without treatment but for those that have severe
infections, they may have to be hospitalized and if so, they’ll probably have to be treated with IV
fluids and antibiotics.
[Dr. Gaynes] Linda, where can listeners get more information about salmonella and ways to