A report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed a Salmonella outbreak which swept up 13 states. After detailed investigations, officials discovered pet turtles had been responsible with spreading the disease. The outbreak has already lasted for several months, and the authorities decided to take action against it.
Pet turtles are responsible for spreading Salmonella
CDC developed an advisory in which it monitored all the Salmonella cases registered since March, and up until August. The officials identified 37 cases of the disease, with 16 of the infected people ending up in the hospital. Most cases were present in New York, with 11 people suffering from Salmonella.
CDC interviewed 33 of the 37 people who were victims of the outbreak. Fifteen of these people reported having played with pet turtles before getting infected. This is how the health officials came to the conclusion that the animals put people at risk. However, people are not aware of it and, as they keep interacting with pet turtles, they might continue getting sick.
Salmonella is especially dangerous for kids and older people
All kinds of pet turtles are expected to carry the Salmonella bacteria. Therefore, parents should be careful, and not allow their children to play with the animals. Salmonella can be especially dangerous for infants, so people shouldn’t keep their pet turtles in the same house as children younger than five. Also, Salmonella can be riskier for people older than 65, those who have a weaker immune system, or pregnant women.
This is not the first time when pet turtles have been linked to a Salmonella outbreak. In 2015, CDC reported 133 cases in 26 states and, in 2013, they discovered 473 cases in 43 states. Each state has different policies regarding the possession of turtles, but retailers are not allowed to sell turtles with shells smaller than 4 inches.
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