Animal & Veterinary
Pet Turtles and Salmonella Danger
January 25, 2008
FDA has updated a previous consumer article on the danger of contracting Salmonella from pet turtles to reflect new information coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From May 1, 2007, to January 18, 2008, the CDC received reports of Salmonella infection in 103 people – most of them children – in 33 states. Fortunately, there were no deaths, however, 24 people were ill enough to be hospitalized. The investigation showed that most of the sick people were exposed to a turtle (touching, feeding, cleaning the habitat, changing water) shortly before they got sick.
Health officials found that the strain of Salmonella that caused the outbreak in people was the same strain found on many of the turtles (or their habitats) belonging to those who became ill.
FDA and CDC are working together to determine the source of the turtles causing this outbreak and to stop the distribution of illegal pet turtles.