The Centers for Disease Control says there is a salmonella outbreak and they’ve pinpointed the culprit: pet reptiles.

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Specifically, the CDC says, more than 40 people have gotten the illness by pet bearded dragons.  Now, when I hear the word “salmonella” I associate it with people eating undercooked pork or chicken. Don’t worry, people aren’t eating their reptilian pets.

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So, what IS going on? Are there bearded dragon-owners who, like many dog lovers, let their pet lick them all over their face and mouth? Maybe. But, the CDC says, bearded dragons can quickly spread salmonella through their droppings.

The forty salmonella cases are spread over 25 states, including the two cases in Texas. Out of the forty, fifteen cases have been serious enough that they require hospitalization. If you’ve followed the news the past 24 months, there’s already a strain on hospitals. COVID sure doesn’t need any help from your nasty lizard’s crap.

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To avoid getting salmonella, the CDC reminds reptile owners of the basics.  Keep the pet’s area clean (it should be a DAILY practice), don’t let your reptile hang around in your kitchen or near your food, and don’t get all kissy-face with your dragon (or snake, or skink or whatever else you weirdos are into).  Also, don’t wash your reptile's toys, cages, or other paraphernalia in the same place you do your dishes.  In short, keep it clean, keep it away from human food and, for God’s sake, avoid…get ready for it…a reptile dysfunction.

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