Outbreaks of Salmonella have been linked to pet hedgehogs, according to the CDC. Salmonella poisoning can lead to serious illness or death.
The bacteria is usually found in undercooked meats and eggs, but many pets carry it as well. Strains of it are carried in pet feces and can be transferred to humans. Pets known for carrying the bacteria include: iguanas, lizards, turtles, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and baby chicks.
A report by the CDC says there has been 20 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium reported in 8 different states. The majority of those cases, 93 percent, were reported after contact with hedgehogs.
There have been cases in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Alabama, Illinois, and Minnesota.
The CDC urges those who have handled a hedgehog to wash their hands after contact. They also urge hedgehog owners to wash surfaces the animal has came into contact with.
Hedgehogs carrying the bacteria do not demonstrate any illness, though the bacteria can cause severe illness in humans.
Those hedgehogs linked to the recent outbreak are carrying a rare strain, leading to the hospitalization of four people.