Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Pet turtles cause multistate outbreak of Salmonella

Pet turtles blamed for multi-state salmonella outbreak Pet turtles blamed for multi-state salmonella outbreak
Carol Daniels | 31 August, 2017, 01:40

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, Aug. 29, revealed that 13 states are now conducting an investigation of salmonella outbreaks linked to contact with turtles.

So far, 37 people have been infected in 13 states, including CT, with illnesses starting between March 1, 2017 and August 3, 2017, the CDC reported. There have been no deaths, but 16 people were taken to the hospital, CDC officials said. Twelve of the people-32 percent-who fell ill are children under age 5.

According to CDC officials, there were epidemiologic and laboratory findings that linked "the human SalmonellaAgbeni infections to contact with turtles or their environments, such as water from a turtle habitat". Of the 33 people interviewed by the CDC, almost half said that they had come in contact with turtles, their tank, food or habitat.

It's important for people to know that pet turtles and other reptiles can lead healthy, happy lives with their adopted families, Nichols says, as long as they are cared for properly. Selling turtles with shells less than 4 inches long as pets has been illegal since 1975, but that hasn't stopped traders from selling the reptiles under the radar.

People are starting to get sick with salmonella, and pet turtles are linked in the majority of cases.

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CDC. Multistate outbreak of SalmonellaAgbeni infections linked to pet turtles, 2017.

We reported in 2015 about a Pediatrics journal account of eight outbreaks across 41 states, covering 473 illnesses. A dozen patients are children 5 and younger.

The CDC and the FDA advised the public not to buy turtles as pet or give them as gift.

"This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection", the CDC said. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Most people feel better within five to seven days. The agency said it expected the outbreak to continue because customers might not be aware of the risk of Salmonella from small turtles.

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

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