Every once in a while, the folks at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta have to issue an official health warning that seems...silly.

The latest CDC statement pertains to hedgehogs. [Note: this has NOTHING to do with SONIC, the famous cartoon hedgehog pictured above.] The warning concerns kissing your pet hedgehog. It may seem obvious, but there have been serious health repercussions recently for people who kissed their pet chickens, and even their dogs.

The CDC says kissing hedgehogs carries a big risk of Salmonella, and there have already been outbreaks in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, and Wyoming--all connected to the act of kissing and/or cuddling a hedgehog.

Sounds like we all know better here in New York.

In a side note, as we approach Groundhog Day, there IS a difference between a hedgehog and a groundhog. A hedgehog is NOT fuzzy and groundhogs are covered with two coats of fur that give the groundhog its unusual "frosted" appearance.