The Centers for Disease Control are warning against snuggling or cuddling, with your hedgehog. Not being an affeciando of hedgehogs I am pretty sure I am safe, but I wanted to make sure you were too.

The reason for the snuggling ban? Salmonella. That's right the same sickness you can get from eating Romaine lettuce you can also be exposed to by close contact with a hedgehog.

The CDC says salmonella cases in eight different states have been linked to direct contact with hedgehogs. In 10 of the 11 reported cases hedgehog contact was confirmed so there is obviously something to this warning.

Hedgehogs have exploded in  popularity as pets over the past several years. Thanks mainly to adorable photos, videos, and memes featured on the Internet. But don't let that innocent face and adorable prickly body fool you. These pets can carry a disease that can make you and your family very ill.

The CDC is working to verify if the hedgehogs in question came from the same supplier. As of now no cases of hedgehog related salmonella have been reported in Louisiana but there have been cases reported in Mississippi.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps lasting four to seven days. The CDC says that in extreme cases the disease can be fatal. Who knew? All because you wanted to kiss your hedgehog?

Health officials warn current hedgehog owners to practice increased hygiene after handling their pets and they encourage keeping the pets away from those who might have weakened or compromised immune systems.

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