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Pet Frogs Linked to U.S. Salmonella Outbreak Among Children

A salmonella outbreak in 31 states was linked to pet frogs, U.S. health officials said, suggesting that public-health efforts to educate children about the proper handling of reptiles should be expanded to amphibians.

Nearly two-thirds of the 85 people infected with the Typhimurium strain of salmonella had some contact with frogs, according to a report released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, which began investigating the outbreak in August. Most of the patients were children and among those whose outcomes are known, a third were hospitalized. None died.

Salmonella is a bacterium that causes intestinal illness in about 1.4 million Americans per year, according to the report. While most salmonella is food-borne, animals can also carry the bacteria. While most people recover without treatment within four to seven days, some people develop diarrhea so severe they are hospitalized and can become critically ill, according to the CDC.

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