(NEW YORK) -- Frogs are often thought to be cute pets for kids, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that you may want to think twice before bringing one into your home. It turns out African Dwarf Water Frogs can be major carriers of salmonella. An outbreak of salmonella infections has been linked to the small aquatic frogs between 2008 and 2011.
Since 2008, they've made nearly 400 people sick, most of them kids, and the reason is pretty gross, according to ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
"It's typically carried by the [amphibian] because [it] lives in water and the water has feces in it, and that's what carries salmonella," she says. "You touch the water, you touch the [amphibian], and then with your contaminated hands, you then touch your mouth."
The water for the pets has to be changed frequently, and doing so can spread the bacteria.
Still, Ashton says salmonella is a very preventable illness, if you take common-sense measures, like washing your hands after you handle the amphibian.
"You need to use a lot of soap, and a lot of warm water and wash for a reasonable period of time until you can sign the song 'Happy Birthday.'"
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