Many people like such furry "pocket pets" as hamsters, mice and rats, but health officials say the critters have sickened as many as 30 people in at least 10 states, including Illinois.
The Center for Disease Control says it's detected the first known outbreak of salmonella tied to such pets and reveals a previously unknown public health risk.
It all began with an unusual infection in a five-year-old boy in Minnesota. He was sickened after kissing a pet mouse that had severe diarrhea, and which later died.
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