37 cases of salmonella in 13 U.S. states linked to pet turtles

37 cases of salmonella in 13 U.S. states linked to pet turtles

These tiny turtles carry salmonella on their shells, on their bodies, and in their droppings, so any contact with any turtle should be followed by washing hands with soap.

However, the cases increased to a high number, making the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise people to stop having turtles inside their homes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Agbeni, including three from CT. Twelve (32%) ill people are children 5 years of age or younger.

Although it is reported that turtles of any size can contain the Salmonella bacteria but mostly tiny turtles are considered to be riskier.

Almost half of the infected people said they had contact with turtles or their environments, such as water from a turtle habitat, before getting sick.

"Do not buy small turtles as pets or give them as gifts", the public health institute warns on its website.

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CDC and multiple states are investigating a multi-state outbreak of salmonella infections from people who were in contact with pet turtles.

Warnings about real live turtles giving salmonella to the people who handle them have also been around for decades, but people keep getting sick, and that's not cool.

CDC. Multistate outbreak of SalmonellaAgbeni infections linked to pet turtles, 2017. Whole genome sequencing showed that the Salmonella Agbeni isolated from ill people in this outbreak is closely related genetically to the Salmonella Agbeni isolates from turtles. The average of age of those cases was 4, but the infections affected people from 1 to 94 years old.

Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration don't recommend buying turtles or gifting them. All turtles can carry Salmonella, but it may be a particular risk in smaller or illicitly obtained turtles.

The symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, which usually appear 12 to 72 hours after people get infected. The salmonella outbreak is expected to continue for more days due to lack of information about the risk of the disease among people.

People should be careful when they have contact with turtles and other reptiles.

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