That pet turtle could give you or your child salmonella, CDC warns

37 people sick in 13 states after Salmonella outbreak linked to pet turtles	 	 	 			Turtle

37 people sick in 13 states after Salmonella outbreak linked to pet turtles Turtle

Although this may not come as a surprise to anyone suspicious of murky green aquarium water, turtles aren't exactly the healthiest pets.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says three people in CT are among dozens nationwide who have contracted a salmonella infection linked to turtles.

The CDC says it expects the outbreak to keep growing because consumers are unaware of the risk and some refuse to heed the warning.

We reported back in 2009 about a salmonella outbreak in the previous two years that sickened more than 100 people. Twelve (32%) ill people are children 5 years of age or younger. Whole genome sequencing showed that the Salmonella Agbeni isolated from ill people in this outbreak is closely related genetically to the Salmonella Agbeni isolated from turtles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all turtles, regardless of size, can carry salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean. The result linked salmonella infections in United States citizens with a bacteria carried by those tiny turtles.

"Do not buy small turtles as pets or give them as gifts", the CDC said.

"This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection", the CDC's statement said. Six said they bought the animals from a street vendor or flea market, while the other received a turtle as a gift. "This can increase your risk of getting sick".

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Salmonella infections can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea and blood in the stool. Most people feel better within five to seven days. Sixteen of those infected have been hospitalized, although no deaths have been reported.

It's not just turtles.

The CDC reported that at least 37 people in 13 states - including Connecticut, New Jersey, and NY -were infected between March 1 and August 3, 2017. A year earlier, bearded dragons sidelined 166 people. Many pet retailers, pet stores, local animal shelters, zoos, or turtle rescues accept unwanted turtles.

"In Maryland, authorities have seized about 500 undersize turtles in the past year", she wrote in 2012.

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

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