Pet turtles linked to multistate Salmonella Agbeni outbreak

37 people sick in 13 states after Salmonella outbreak linked to pet turtles	 	 	 			Turtle

It started with three people in CT who were reported to contract salmonella from the shelled reptiles.

The Centers for Disease Control is reporting a multi-state outbreak of salmonella infections in humans linked to contact with pet turtles.

Despite the frustration of continued outbreaks, the CDC's Nichols says the number of illnesses we see now is much smaller than it would be if the tiny turtle ban and warnings were not in place. Till now there are no cases of any deaths recorded, but it was reported that around 16 patients have been hospitalised due to the contraction of the salmonella bacteria.

The outbreak - which includes 12 cases in children 5 and younger - has been connected to contact with turtles. According to the CDC, all turtles, regardless of size, can carry salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean.

Almost half of the 33 people who were interviewed said they had contact with the turtles or their environments, such as water from a turtle habitat.

People are starting to get sick with salmonella, and pet turtles are linked in the majority of cases.

This is not the first time salmonella is linked with turtles.

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We reported in 2015 about a Pediatrics journal account of eight outbreaks across 41 states, covering 473 illnesses.

Lab tests from the 37 patients revealed they all tested positive for Salmonella Agbeni, a rare strain of the bacteria that doesn't typically infect humans.

Salmonella poisoning can lead to stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever, often bad enough for hospitalization.

Among the CDC's advice to pet owners is avoid keeping turtles or other reptiles in households with young children.

Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration don't recommend buying turtles or gifting them. "These outbreaks are a reminder to follow simple steps to enjoy pet reptiles and keep your family healthy", CDC said. Most people feel better within five to seven days.

People should be careful when they have contact with turtles and other reptiles.

The agency said that the outbreak is likely to continue since many may not be aware of the risk of contracting salmonella infection from small turtles.

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