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The Thoughtful Animal

The Thoughtful Animal


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When A Komodo Dragon Caused A Salmonella Outbreak in a Bunch of Kids

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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When we get infected by salmonella, it usually comes from things like undercooked meat or contaminated eggs. Sometimes, it comes from sharing germs with Komodo dragons, as some Colorado children found out in 1996.

Read about this surprising origin for a salmonella outbreak in my latest piece at Nautilus Magazine: The Near-Mythical Beast That Spread an All-Too-Real Disease

Image: Komodo dragon at the San Diego Zoo copyright the author. Photographed in July 2013.

Jason G. Goldman About the Author: Dr. Jason G. Goldman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California, where he studied the evolutionary and developmental origins of the mind in humans and non-human animals. Jason is also an editor at ScienceSeeker and Editor of Open Lab 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Follow on . Follow on Twitter @jgold85.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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  1. 1. Neeroc 9:42 pm 08/29/2013

    Interesting! We’ve had a red-eared slider for 24 or so years now, so I’m well aware of the need to wash your hands well after touching any reptile or amphibian (or really, any pet – thank you allergies), but I’m not sure I would have considered the enclosures and rails to be a risk.

    Link to this

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