The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns the American public that over two dozen individuals have fallen ill in 11 states due to a salmonella outbreak associated with small turtles.
31% of known incidents in this outbreak are attributable to children under the age of 5, as they are particularly prone to contracting diseases from tortoises and other similar pets.
Those who have become ill reported onset dates ranging from October 27, 2022, to July 16, 2023.
Eighty percent of the affected population reported contact with pet turtles, and ninety-two percent of those said their tortoises were small or had a shell length of fewer than four inches.
64% of these individuals reported buying their canines online, while 38% purchased them from a pet store.
On account of the 26 illnesses documented in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and California, nine individuals were hospitalized.
Small Turtles Carrying Salmonella
According to the CDC, small turtles are more likely to transmit salmonella, but all turtles pose a risk. Even turtles that appear healthy and clean contain salmonella in their feces, which may be transmitted to their tanks, bodies, water, and other areas where they congregate.
People can easily ingest these pathogens if they touch their mouths or food without cleansing their hands after touching their pet turtle or its environment.
Those interested in acquiring a turtle should purchase their new companion from a reputable source; in accordance with federal law, reputable pet vendors refrain from selling turtles with shells shorter than four inches.
Turtles of any size should not be kept as pets by kids below the age of 5, adults over the age of 65, or immunocompromised or otherwise at-risk individuals.
Salmonella Disease Symptoms and Treatment
- Diarrhea that is bloody or that persists for more than three days without improvement.
- Diarrhea and a temperature greater than 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Vomiting excessively, particularly if it inhibits you from keeping liquids down.
- Dehydration symptoms include dry mouth and pharynx, infrequent urination, and dizziness upon standing.
- abdominal pains