It is common for reptiles in captivity (e.g. snakes, lizards and turtles) and occasionally amphibians (batrachians; among others frogs, toads and salamanders) to carry salmonella without symptoms of disease. However, if these animals become stressed or sick for some other reason, the bacteria can cause disease.
All reptiles and amphibians should be regarded as potential carriers of salmonella. It is therefore important to take precautions when handling these animals. The following is recommended:
- People who are particularly vulnerable to infection such as young children under 5 years of age and pregnant women, elders and others with impaired immune system should avoid handling reptiles/amphibians.
- Always wash your hands with warm water and soap after contact with reptiles/amphibians and their terrariums/aquariums, before touching anything else. In addition, wash surfaces that reptiles/amphibians or their terrariums/aquariums have been in contact with.
- Do not allow reptiles or amphibians to move around freely in the home and always keep them away from kitchens and other areas where food is handled. Do not wash terrariums/aquariums in the sink. If they are washed in the bath tub, clean the tub thoroughly before humans use it. Do not use siphon-tubes to empty water from the aquariums.