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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Small Turtles, USA

2 weeks ago

United States

The CDC announced that they are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Stanley infections linked to Small Turtles. As of July 19, 2022, a total of 15 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Stanley have been reported from 11 states (FL, IA, KS, MA, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA and WA), of the 12 people with information available, 5 (42%) have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 3, 2022, to June 24, 2022.

Many people in this outbreak reported purchasing turtles with shells less than 4 inches long from online stores before getting sick. Three people in this outbreak purchased their turtles from a website called myturtlestore.com. The same strain of Salmonella making people sick in this outbreak was also found on turtles purchased from myturtlestore.com.

Pet turtles of any size can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean. 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 your turtle or anything in its environment and then touching your mouth or food with unwashed hands and swallowing Salmonella germs.

Do not buy small turtles with shells less than 4 inches long. A federal law bans the sale of these small turtles as pets, because they have caused many Salmonella outbreaks, but they are sometimes available for sale online and at stores, flea markets, and roadside stands.

The CDC advises always taking these steps to stay healthy around your pet turtle:

- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching or feeding your turtle and after touching or cleaning the area where it lives and roams.
- Don’t kiss or snuggle your turtle, and don’t eat or drink around it. This can spread Salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick.
- Keep your turtle out of your kitchen and other areas where you eat, store, or prepare food.
- Clean your turtle supplies outside the house, if possible. These supplies may include its tank, toys, and feeders.
- If you clean the supplies indoors, don’t clean them in the kitchen or other areas where you eat or prepare food. Use a laundry sink or bathtub, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the area right after.

In case you are experiencing Salmonella symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: cdc.gov

458


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