The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC in short, are currently investigating dozens of US Salmonella cases which are thought to be lined pet turtles
According to an advisory note, there were 37 Salmonella Agbeni cases reported in 13 states from the beginning of March until now. Even though there were no deaths involved, at least 16 people have been hospitalized after contacting the bacteria.
Salmonella causes diarrheal illness that usually lasts between four and seven days. However, it is especially dangerous for children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.
In a factsheet entitled The Trouble With Tiny Turtles, CDC strongly advises pet owners when it comes to their turtle pets. They need to minimize the risk of salmonella infection.
“Don’t kiss or snuggle with your turtle,” the factsheet warns. Moreover, it also suggests turtle owners to wash their hands after touching their pets.
Even though turtles of any size can carry Salmonella, small ones are especially risky. Since 1975, the FDA has banned both selling and distributing turtles with shells that are less than 4 inches long as pets, because they are often linked to Salmonella infections.