Pet Turtles Blamed for Samonella Poisoning in Kids

Here is a recent article we found on kids getting sick from their pets…just wanted to make you aware:

If a pet turtle shows up at your home, do not take him in. He is considered armed and dangerous. No joke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Salmonella caseslinked to tiny breeds of the reptile (it’s not an amphibian!) is on the rise. As of last week, there are six current outbreaks of the bacteria-borne illness directly linked to exposure to the illegal contraband. Yes pet turtles are illegal.

Ever since 1975, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a nationwide ban on sales of the amphibians-with shells 4 inches or smaller. After a spike in Salmonella-related sicknesses, the little guys were found to be breeders of the bacteria.

Here’s how it happens: They release the bacteria when they relieve themselves (that’s a fancy way of saying turtle poop). Remnants of the Salmonella strain live on their shells and get transferred to human hands and mouths easily.

“Young children are ingenious in constructing ways to infect themselves,” says Joseph C. Paige, D.V.M., a Consumer Safety Officer in the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, in a statement to press. “They put the small turtles in their mouths or, more often, they touch the turtles or dangle their fingers in the turtle tank water and then put their hands in their mouths. Also, sometimes the tanks and reptile paraphernalia are cleaned in the kitchen sink, and food and eating utensils get cross-contaminated.”

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