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Salmonella outbreaks linked to snakes, feeder rodents

By Brad Perry Mar 20, 2024 | 6:00 AM

Health officials across Canada are investigating a salmonella outbreak linked to snakes and feeder rodents.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said Tuesday there are 70 confirmed cases in eight provinces.

  • Ontario: 32 cases
  • Quebec: 11 cases
  • Alberta: 10 cases
  • Saskatchewan: 7 cases
  • British Columbia: 3 cases
  • Manitoba: 3 cases
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 3 cases
  • New Brunswick: 1 case

Health officials said 10 people have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak and one person has died.

“A single common supplier of snakes or feeder rodents has not been identified,” the agency said in a news release on Tuesday.

Many of those who became sick reported direct or indirect contact with snakes and feeder rodents. Some did not touch or handle the snakes or feeder rodents but lived in the same house where they were kept.

Officials said more recent illnesses may be reported as it takes between four and six weeks from between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials.

The health agency recommends frequent handwashing after contact with snakes, feeder rodents, and their environments.