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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 11, 2012

Notes From the Field: Infections With Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- Linked to Exposure to Feeder Rodents—United States, August 2011–February 2012

JAMA. 2012;308(2):129. doi:

MMWR. 2012;61:277

CDC is collaborating with 22 state health departments in an ongoing investigation of an outbreak of human Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- infections associated with exposure to rodents sold as food for pet reptiles and amphibians (i.e., feeder rodents). This outbreak strain also was implicated in a 2009 outbreak in the United Kingdom and a 2010 outbreak in the United States, both linked to frozen feeder rodents from a single U.S. supplier, resulting in recalls.1,2

During August 29, 2011–February 2, 2012, a total of 46 cases of human Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- infection were reported in 22 states. The median patient age was 11 years (range: <1-69 years); 37% were aged ≤5 years, and 52% were male. Of the 27 patients interviewed, six (22%) reported hospitalization, 20 (74%) reported reptile or amphibian exposures, and 15 (56%) reported feeder rodent exposure. For 12 patients who recalled the types of rodent contacted, five (42%) reported exposure to live rodents, four (33%) to frozen rodents, and three (25%) to both live and frozen rodents. Seven (58%) patients reported exposure to mice, two (17%) to rats, two (17%) to both mice and rats, and one (8%) was unsure. No patients reported exposure to rodents purchased from the same pet store.

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