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Salmonella Blog Surveillance & Analysis on Salmonella News & Outbreaks

Don’t play with your Snake – Or, at least wash the Salmonella off your hands afterward

Ashley Meeks of the Las Cruces Sun-News reported that 10-year-old Eric Spagnola was hospitalized for nearly a week and was hooked up to IVs. His stool test came back positive for salmonella.

According to Meeks, Spagnola’s mother’s boyfriend keeps a python. More than 90 percent of reptiles carry the salmonella bacteria, according to the L.A. County health department – though tracking it down to a source will be nearly impossible.

Salmonella can damage organs and kills a reported 400 people a year in the U.S.

So, other than not having a python, what are your options?

Proper hand-washing

• Wet your hands with clean running water – warm, if available – and apply soap.

• Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces, making sure to clean between fingers and under fingernails.

• Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to sing the "ABC’s"

• Rinse hands well under running water.

• Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.

• Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

* If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands.

• Apply product to the palm of one hand.

• Rub hands together.

* Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.