April 29, 2013
2 min read
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Clinicians urged to warn patients about pet frogs, salmonella risk

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A nationwide outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium that occurred between 2008 and 2011 was linked to African dwarf frogs. Therefore, researchers for a recent study are advising pediatricians to ask patients and their parents about exposure to these frogs and other amphibians.

CDC researchers reviewed data on 376 patients from 44 states who had S. typhimurium between 2008 and 2011. The investigators compared those patients with controls who had different types of salmonella infection than the outbreak strain.

The researchers said the median age of those affected by the outbreak strain was 5 years, and about 29% of the patients were hospitalized.

“Among 114 patients interviewed, 69 reported frog exposure. Of patients who knew frog type, 79% reported African dwarf frogs, a type of aquatic frog,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers said their investigation showed the frogs were bought at “a common African dwarf frog breeding facility.”

They concluded, “Pediatricians are uniquely qualified to provide education to young patients and their families about the risk of salmonella infection from animals.”

Disclosure: Mettee Zarecki reports no relevant financial disclosures.