As of May 13, 2014, a total of 37 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 18 states. The number of ill persons reported from each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arizona (2), California (7), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Missouri (2), Montana (3), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (4), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (3), South Dakota (1), and Texas (1).
15% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have linked this outbreak of Salmonella infections to contact with frozen feeder rodents packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc.
Feeder rodents may include mice, rats, or other rodents of different sizes and ages. Feeder rodents are used to feed some pet reptiles and amphibians.
Testing conducted by the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in one sample of unused frozen mice, packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc., taken from an ill person’s home in Oregon.
Testing conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified the outbreak strain in two frozen feeder rodent samples collected during an FDA investigation at the Reptile Industries, Inc. facility.
On May 20, 2014, FDA issued a warning to pet owners who have purchased frozen rodents packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc. since January 11, 2014, advising that these products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
Reptile Industries, Inc. packages frozen rodents for PetSmart stores nationwide and are sold under the brand name Arctic Mice. CDC recommends that pet owners do not use frozen rodents packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc. purchased since January 11, 2014.