We love hedgehogs as pets. However, like ANY pet, there is always the potential for transmission of disease from the pet to owners.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 27 cases of Salmonella in the United States linked to pet hedgehogs. Six states have reported cases since 2018, including Indiana.
Does this mean we should we stop keeping hedgehogs as pets? If your doctor thinks you should because to your own personal health issues, that might be the best option.
However, CDC has some tips to keep you and your family safe:
Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for your hedgehog (or any exotic pet) or cleaning its habitat.
Avoid snuggling and kissing pets, as this can spread diseases to your face and mouth.
Avoid playing with hedgehogs or exotic pets in your kitchen or where food is prepared.
Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella in their feces even while showing no signs of illness. For this reason, it's best to be safe; wash carefully after handling hedgehogs and any pet!
More information about salmonella can be found here.