Small turtles cause salmonella outbreak in 11 states

By Brian Ward

The CDC announced that small turtles have been linked to a salmonella outbreak in 11 states that has left some patients hospitalized.

Out of the 26 reported cases, 16 reported having contact with a pet turtle, and nine have been hospitalized. Cases have been reported in California, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

"The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and this outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses," the CDC said to NPR. "This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella."

Pet turtles of any size can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean., the CDC explains. These germs can easily spread to their bodies, tank water, and anything in the area where they live and roam. You can get sick from touching a turtle or anything in its environment and then touching your mouth or food with unwashed hands and swallowing Salmonella germs.

Found in Categories: 
Infection Control, Patient Safety

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