CDC says online purchases of small turtles linked to salmonella outbreak

CHARLOTTE — A salmonella outbreak that could possibly be linked to the purchase of small turtles is under investigation, WCIV reported.

Fifteen people across 11 states have said they got sick after many of them bought turtles with shells that were less than four inches long from online stores, according to health officials.

Three people that were a part of the outbreak bought their turtles from one website, and the same strain of salmonella was found on turtles that came from the site.

Federal law bans the sale and distribution of turtles less than four inches long as pets, officials noted.

“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,” the CDC said. “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.”

If you are looking to purchase a pet turtle, you must buy one that is more than four inches long and come from a legal pet store. Owners are reminded to always play safely with their pet turtles and keep animal supplies clean at all times.

If you are experiencing the following salmonella symptoms, contact your health provider.

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as not peeing much, having a dry mouth and throat and feeling dizzy when standing up

More information on the outbreak can be found here.

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