37 people nationwide contract infection linked to turtles

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

Turtles are known to carry the salmonella bacteria on their shells or skin but they do not get sick from the bacteria.

CT is one of 13 states hit by a salmonella outbreak linked to pet turtles. The outbreak started on March 1, 2017, and went on August 3, 2017.

The CDC reports that from 2011 to 2013, eight multistate outbreaks of salmonella were linked to the reptiles, which sickened a total of 473 people in 41 states in the U.S. Cases occurred in people from ages 1 to 94 years old, but the average age was 4 years old. Of the 33 people with available information, 16 have been hospitalized. Twelve of the cases were in children 5 or younger.

"All turtles, regardless of size, can carry salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean". That means that if they have salmonella, they are shedding it everywhere in their environment, Nichols says - on people, on their food, in their water and in their cages.

The CDC has generally encouraged pet seekers - particularly homes with small children, elderly adults or people with compromised immune systems - to steer clear of shelled reptiles.

Normally a foodborne illness, salmonellosis is being linked to contact with turtles in these cases based on epidemiologic and laboratory findings.

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Salmonella infections can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea and blood in the stool.

Health officials performed a genome sequencing in 2015 using samples taken from small turtles sold by typical vendors in the streets.

They may seem cute and kids love to play with them, but pet turtles can make you sick. A dozen patients are children 5 and younger. "These outbreaks are a reminder to follow simple steps to enjoy pet reptiles and keep your family healthy", the CDC said in a statement.

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. Most people feel better between five and seven days of being sick. "They've busted two turtle vendors in Montgomery County in the past two weeks: One for selling the turtles to a Silver Spring store; the other for hawking them at the Six Flags parking lot".

The CDC will continue to investigate the outbreak, which it expects to grow.

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