"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Salmonella outbreak in 11 states linked to pet turtles

August 23, 2023 – Health officials say they've linked a salmonella outbreak to small pet turtles.

The outbreak includes 26 individuals who have turn out to be ailing with salmonella and no less than nine individuals who have been hospitalized in recent months. The cases in 11 states has been linked to the reptiles and the CDC advises owners on the way to safely handle the small creatures.

Health authorities had previously warned owners of geese, chickens, hedgehogs and bearded dragons that these animals could also spread infections.

The sale of turtles lower than 4 inches long has been banned by the FDA since 1975. At that point, there have been 1000's of cases, especially amongst children, who handled the animals after which didn't wash their hands before putting them of their mouths or eating them. The New York Times reported.

In the present outbreak, a few third of the patients were children under the age of 5. Of the 20 infected individuals who gave information to authorities, 16 said they'd touched a pet turtle – and 12 of them had touched turtles that were lower than 10 centimeters long.

According to the CDC, Salmonella causes roughly 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths within the United States every year.

Officials recommend that children under 5 and adults over 65 don't buy turtles, wash hands after touching turtles, and don't eat or drink near them.