A Salmonella outbreak involving 16 states has been linked to pet crested geckos, according to an outbreak report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of May 13, 2015, a total of 20 persons have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Muenchen, with 3 of those sickened requiring hospitalization. Infections linked to the outbreak go back as far as January 1, 2014.
Reptiles can carry pathogenic Salmonella bacteria with no symptoms or signs of illness. The CDC reminds pet owners and handlers to “wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching pet reptiles or anything in the area where they live and roam.” For more information regarding reptiles and Salmonella safety, please read the CDC’s Advice to Pet Owners.