Multistate Investigation of Salmonella Associated with Water Frogs

Since April 1, 2009, the CDC and local health departments have been investigating a national outbreak ofSalmonella associated with aquatic frogs, specifically African dwarf frogs.  In Virginia there have been 11 cases associated with this outbreak.
More information on this specific outbreak can be found at:

This outbreak serves as a reminder that all amphibians as well as reptiles can carry Salmonella.  To reduce your risk of acquiring Salmonella from aquatic frogs, the CDC recommends:

  • Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water right after handling anything, including water, that comes in contact with water frogs or from inside their habitat (e.g., aquarium or fish tank). Since the water from inside their habitat can carry the same germs as the water frogs themselves, following proper hand washing practices is very important. Adults should assist young children with hand washing.
  • Not using kitchen sinks to empty or wash the frog’s habitat (e.g., aquarium or fish tank). If possible, empty and wash the habitat outside of the home, using disposable gloves. If bathtubs are used for cleaning the frog’s habitat, they should be cleaned thoroughly and disinfected with bleach. Young children should not be allowed to clean the frog’s habitat.
  • Be aware that Salmonella infections can be caused not only by water frogs, but by other amphibians and reptiles, such as turtles. More information about how to enjoy pets safely can be found on theCDC Healthy Pets Healthy People Website.


Additional information about reducing the risk of acquiring Salmonella while caring for your amphibian (and reptile) can be found on the CDC website:
or on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website:

If you feel that you can no longer take care of your amphibian and/or reptile, please visit: or

Information about owning and selling African dwarf frogs is available on the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ updated regulations (effective January 1, 2011) at  VDGIF contact info can be found at

More information on Salmonella: