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Deadly salmonella outbreaks linked to geckos, snakes and rodents declared over

Federal health officials have closed two investigations into long-running salmonella outbreaks that led to more than 100 infections and one death.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said that while the probes – one related to geckos, the other to snakes and rodents – have been terminated, more illnesses “could still be reported.”

That’s because geckos, snakes and rodents are potential carriers of salmonella bacteria, the agency explained.

The snake and rodent outbreak resulted in 76 confirmed cases of salmonella, with three of those in British Columbia. People became sick between February 2022 and April 2024.

<who> Photo credit: PHAC

Ten people were treated in hospital after becoming infected, while one person died.

PHAC said babies under one were among the cases, as well as seniors as old as 96.

The outbreak associated with geckos resulted in no known deaths, but 36 cases were identified between March 2020 and March 2024.

Five needed hospital treatment.

<who> Photo credit: PHAC

Two of the confirmed cases were in BC, while, again, children under one were affected. Seniors up to age 84 were also infected.

PHAC said in a public notice that anyone handling geckos, rodents and snakes should always wash their hands afterwards.

It said infections can occur “at birthday parties, school or daycare events, museums, science centres, zoos, or at a travelling reptile show.”



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