Canada: Salmonella outbreak in 8 provinces linked to snakes and feeder rodents

Outbreak News Today

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak occurring in eight provinces of Salmonella infections linked to snakes and feeder rodents.

As of April 13, 2023, there are 45 confirmed cases of Salmonella illness reported in this outbreak in the following provinces: British Columbia (1), Alberta (5), Saskatchewan (1), Manitoba (3), Ontario (22), Quebec (11), New Brunswick (1) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).

Individuals became sick between February 2022 and March 2023. Nine individuals have been hospitalized. One person has died and provincial public health partners have confirmed that Salmonella was the cause of death.

Individuals who became ill are between 0 and 96 years of age. Nine of 45 (20%) of the cases are under 5 years of age. Approximately half of the cases (51%) are male.

Many of the individuals who became sick reported having direct or indirect contact with snakes and feeder rodents (used as reptile food) before their illnesses occurred.

Salmonellosis is a well-known foodborne illness caused by Salmonella bacteria. However, it can also occur if a person does not properly wash their hands after handling pets and farm animals, such as pet reptiles or baby chicks.

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