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Baby gets salmonella 'from snake'

Amanda Vry and daughter Gabriella
Ms Vry said she had no idea what was wrong with her daughter

A three-month-old baby contracted salmonella from her family's pet snake, her mother believes.

It took four days before Amanda Vry's daughter, Gabriella, was diagnosed with the potentially fatal bacterium and she said she feared she may lose her.

She said she found out from internet research that it could be contracted from reptiles.

Ms Vry, from Birmingham, said she thinks her son may have touched their pet snake then played with his sister.

The government's chief medical officer has previously warned that salmonella can be caught from exotic pets such snakes and lizards.

When they said it was salmonella I just didn't know how she could have caught it
Amanda Vry

Reg, a Colombian Rainbow Boa, was bought as a present for her son's ninth birthday and the family carried out research on keeping reptiles beforehand as Ms Vry was heavily pregnant at the time.

But when Gabrielle was 14 weeks old she suddenly fell ill and had a temperature of 40 degrees.

"When they said it was salmonella I just did not know how she could have caught it," Ms Vry told BBC News.

Reg, a Colombian Rainbow Boa
The family is now looking for a new home for Reg

"I went to the hospital's information centre and typed in 'salmonella' and it said it can be caught quite easily from reptiles.

"We were all shocked after we had carried out the research before.

"If I had been given this information before we bought it, we would never have bought it and my daughter would never have been ill and my family would not have gone through this."

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, headaches, stomach cramps and fever.

Bob Laurence, a warden at West Midlands Safari Park, said hygiene is the most important thing to remember when handling pets.

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