Stop kissing pet turtles, CDC warns as Salmonella outbreak hits 13 states

Stop kissing pet turtles, CDC warns as Salmonella outbreak hits 13 states

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We love our pets, but U.S. health officials are urging people stop kissing their turtles as a Salmonella outbreak spreads into at least 13 states.Doctors out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that at least 37 people got sick with a strain of Salmonella in a multi-state outbreak. The culprit? Contact with adorable pet turtles and their environments.“Don’t kiss or snuggle with your turtle. This can increase your risk of getting sick,” the CDC says in its guide, titled “The Trouble with Tiny Turtles.” turtles1turtles2
Story continues belowSixteen people ended up in hospital from their illnesses.“Epidemiologic and laboratory findings link the outbreak of human Salmonella Agbeni infections to contact with turtles or their environments, such as water from a turtle habitat,” the CDC warning reads.READ MORE: Stop painting turtle shells, you’re hurting their health, wildlife officials say“Whole genome sequencing showed that the Salmonella Agbeni isolated from ill people in this outbreak is closely related genetically to the Salmonella Agbeni isolates from turtles,” the government agency explained.People started to report their illnesses in March right into August.Twelve of the people who got sick were kids under five years old. In interviews, those who fell ill said they were in contact with turtles or their habitats before getting sick.Six families said they bought their turtles from a flea market or street vendor.READ MORE: 8 factors that increase your risk of getting a tick biteThe CDC says that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned selling and distributing turtles with shells less than four inches long as pets since 1975. That’s because they’re often tied to Salmonella infections, especially in kids.“All turtles, regardless of size, can carry Salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean,” the CDC said.Read the full advisory.[email protected]

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