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Pet Owners Beware: Reptiles Can Cause Salmonella Infections

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"Basic hand washing with warm water and soap after contact is actually protective," says Wong. "It a very simple recommendation but extremely important. But also try to decrease the animal's movement in house: the salmonella is primarily in the feces, but since a lot of species walk around in their feces, it will be on the reptile and you won't see it. Just keep in mind that whatever that reptile comes in contact with can therefore be contaminated by salmonella, which can survive in the environment for weeks," she says.

Wong says the best way to clean a contaminated surface is to use a bleach-based cleanser. "But try to avoid that contact from happening," she says. "And no matter what, wash your hands before touching your mouth or food or a baby."

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