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Pet rodents such as hamsters have been found to harbor salmonella and pass it to people. There was no real connection between these little animals and human salmonella cases until a huge outbreak back in 2004 when 28 patients got sick with a salmonella strain found in rodents.

Most of the patients came into contact with the animals that died shortly after. The strain appeared to be a rare one, resistant to a multiple antibiotics, which made it even more dangerous. Out of the 22 patients who got sick and successfully interviewed, 13 had had contact with rodents purchased from retail pet stores, 2 had become infected through contact with a primary patient and 7 had no apparent contact with rodents or ill patients.

Health experts are saying that there is a widespread abuse of antimicrobials within the pet industry and that this is one of the main reasons of multi-drug resistant salmonella strain dissemination.
Other animal-related cases have also been documented from reptiles and amphibians, chicks, ducklings, kittens and hedgehogs.

Experts advise that pet rodents are safe to keep but that certain measures should be taken like washing hands regularly, avoiding kissing or holding rodents close to the mouth, stay away from those with diarrhea or other signs of illness and avoid letting the animals near the kitchen as well as pregnant ladies and other vulnerable population.

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Not very long if you don't take it to the vet immediately.
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