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Pediatrics/GI Illness/Reptile Assoc Salmonella


Good Afternoon-

We attended a birthday party last week at which my children pet snakes and other reptiles.  The facility made the children use hand sanitizer each time they touched the animals and wash their hands at the end of the presentation.

Four days after the party, my oldest started with a GI illness- mild diarrhea and vomiting for less than 24 hours, headache, no fever.  He still has some intermittent nausea but is otherwise fine.

My youngest has had frequent soft BMs for the past two days (4-6 per day peanut butter consistency), no abdominal pain, no fever and no vomiting. I should also mention that the youngest was constipated last week and was given quite a bit of prune juice and Miralax which could explain the frequent BMs.

Should I be concerned about a Salmonella infection from the reptile exposure?  Does this warrant a call or trip to the pediatrician?  My oldest was seen by the pediatrician when vomiting started and the day after it resolved but we did not mention the reptile exposure because I didn't put two and two together.

Thank you

Hi, Brooke,

Good question.  It is much more likely this is a viral stomach flu and will pass.  If fever or bloody stools develop, then call your doc.  Otherwise probably an unrelated viral illness and I doubt,  based on their somewhat mild symptoms, if this is salmonella.  Not sure re snakes and reptiles in general at a birthday party, but who knows?

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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