Amphibian and Reptile Owners: Danger Lurks in Your Aquarium…

frog, aquariumPet frogs are popular for families with small children, or families who don’t want the responsibility of a larger pet.

Many people are aware of the risk of salmonella infection from turtles, but a multi-state outbreak of human salmonella infections last year has been linked to African dwarf frogs, a common aquatic pet.

These small, entirely aquatic frogs are frequently found in pet stores, petting zoos, in classrooms and as household pets.

The CDC isolated the source of the salmonella outbreak to a single California breeder. Patients were most likely infected by contaminated aquarium water rather than by direct handling infected frogs.

Nearly 80 percent of the people infected in this outbreak were under the age of 10, and the median age was five years old. Young children are more likely to reach into tank water and are less likely to wash their hands properly.

When asked, over 50 percent of infected patients knew turtles were a source of salmonella infection, but only 30 percent knew the risk also involved exposure to amphibians.

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