Need a reason not to touch a bearded dragon or a hedgehog — besides spikes and quills? Salmonella.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tied the critters to salmonella outbreaks in more than two dozen states, according to the agency’s website.
A dozen people have been hospitalized by two strains, Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Muenster. No deaths have been reported.
Salmonella Muenster is linked to bearded dragons. The strain has infected 13 people in eight states and 10 had contact with a lizard, the CDC said. Seven have been hospitalized — five are kids under the age of 5.
Hedgehogs are carriers of Salmonella Typhimurium. So far, the strain has infected 32 in 17 states; 16 of those who became sick had touched a hedgehog. Five had to be hospitalized.
CDC investigators traced the outbreaks to breeders as well as pet stores and online shops.