VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canada’s top health agency is looking into cases of salmonella across the country that may have been spread by snakes, pet rats or feeder rodents – which are used as reptile food.
Four of the 92 cases involve people in B.C., and while no one has died, many affected said they had come into some kind of contact with the animals before getting sick. Six people have been hospitalized across the country.
Health Canada is reminding people to wash their hands after touching these animals, not to kiss pet rodents or reptiles, and to regularly clean surfaces or objects used by these pets with soapy water and sanitizer.
Salmonella can cause fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.
Children five years and younger, older adults, pregnant women and those with weak imune systems are at the highest risk for contracting a serious ilness.
Reptiles and rodents can carry salmonella bacteria even though they seem healthy and don’t show any signs of sickness.
Read more about preventing the spread of salmonella and the symptoms on Health Canada’s website.