Salmonella Outbreak Spreads to 11 States; Experts Warn


Salmonella Outbreak at 26 Cases in 11 States Prompts Officials to Warn Pet Owners Against Kissing Turtles

(Photo : Johan Ordonez / Getty Images)
Salmonella outbreak of 26 cases in the US prompts a warning against kissing pet turtles.

Authorities have issued a warning, urging turtle owners to stop the habit of kissing their pets, as the salmonella outbreak has affected 26 people in 11 US States already.

Multistate Salmonella Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to pet owners stating that caressing and kissing little turtles kept as pets might not be a smart idea because of a multistate salmonella outbreak linked to them.

The outbreak has caused illness in 26 persons across 11 states, nine of whom required hospitalization. There have been no fatalities reported, but more than 30% of the cases have included children under the age of 5, who are particularly vulnerable to infections.

Although turtles of all sizes are capable of transmitting salmonella, the CDC said that smaller turtles were outlawed by federal legislation in 1975 after spreading numerous diseases, particularly to young children.

Salmonellosis, a condition marked by fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, is brought on by a genus of bacteria known as Salmonella. Salmonella can be spread when consumers eat raw or undercooked meals, as well as by food workers who do not wash their hands, surfaces, and/or instruments between food preparation stages.

Additionally, humans and animals can contract salmonella. If they do not exercise good hand hygiene before handling food, people who have direct contact with some animals, such as chickens and reptiles, may transfer the bacteria from the animals to food. If pets consume food tainted with Salmonella, they may potentially transmit the germs within the home.

Tiny Pet Turtles and Salmonella Symptoms

The CDC cautioned consumers to only purchase animals from reliable sources while smaller breeds are still unlawfully sold online, in shops, at flea markets, and roadside stalls.

The FDA warned pet owners to be diligent about hand washing and basic cleanliness because even turtles that look healthy can transfer infections.

Additionally, the agency advised against dining in close proximity to pet turtles and advised to keep turtles away from areas where pet owners prepare, store, or eat their food.

Salmonella symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Even while it’s normally not a dangerous condition, children, older people, and those with compromised immune systems may experience consequences.

Also Read: Endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle Euthanized After Being Run Over by Recreational Vehicle in North Carolina Nesting Beach 

Salmonella infections typically cause symptoms to appear between 12 and 72 hours from infection.

Salmonellosis typically lasts four to seven days, and the majority of patients recover on their own.

More severe salmonellosis can cause a high temperature, body aches, headaches, a rash, lethargy, and blood in the urine, and can be fatal in extreme circumstances.

According to the CDC, salmonella infections cause 26,500 hospital admissions and 420 fatalities each year in Americans.

While there is a history of health issues with turtles, other animals have also been connected to salmonella outbreaks.

32 infections caused by interaction with bearded dragons were reported in the previous year. Between 2019 and 2020, 49 cases were connected to pet hedgehogs.

Related Article: Fertile Female Turtle Hatchlings Has Higher Numbers in Warm Weather, Study Says 

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