Infection risk even for small children: reptile keepers must pay attention to hygiene

Infection risk even for small children: reptile keepers must pay attention to hygiene

Risk of infection from reptiles: keepers must ensure good hygiene
Although the greatest threat to reptiles in most cases comes from their poison, there are also other health risks. Many of the animals can transmit harmful bacteria. Small children and weakened people are particularly at risk. Reptile keepers must therefore ensure good hygiene.

Infants and weaknesses should not be in contact with reptiles
According to experts, almost 30 million pets live in German households. The majority of them are cats and dogs. But snakes or turtles are also popular with many Germans. A message from the dpa news agency points out that reptiles often have salmonella in their bodies and can pass them on to their owners. Those who have a reptile at home should therefore make sure that the animals have no contact with babies, toddlers and people with a weakened immune system.

Bacteria can cause illness
Salmonella are bacteria that can cause various diseases in humans - especially in the gastrointestinal area. A salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is usually accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, fever, as well as nausea and vomiting. In more severe cases, vomiting diarrhea can lead to dehydration (dehydration) of the organism with additional health consequences.

Ensure adequate hygiene
If symptoms occur and a doctor is seen, they should be informed that reptiles live in the household. It is fundamentally important to keep reptiles as hygienic as possible. If, for example, terrariums are cleaned in the sink, they must also be properly cleaned and disinfected. The animals must never be in contact with food. In addition, they should not be where food is being prepared or consumed. The German Veterinary Society has pointed this out.

Do not treat animals with antibiotics in any case
In any case, reptiles must be kept appropriately and with expertise. Regular vet visits are also important. However, the company's experts do not recommend that antibiotics are always used to combat the animals' salmonella. In this way, multi-resistant germs could also arise. (ad)

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