Animal & Veterinary
Turtle Book Cover: Turtles May Look Cute But They Can Make You Very Sick!
Turtles carry a type of bacteria on their outer skin and shell called Salmonella.
Salmonella are naturally occurring bacteria in turtles and turtles with Salmonella don’t appear sick.
Salmonella infection can cause the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
- Fever and headache
Anyone can get Salmonella infection but the risk is highest in:
- Young children
- Elderly people
- People with lowered natural resistance to disease due to pregnancy, cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and other diseases.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
- Don’t buy or bring home a small (under 4 inches) pet turtle.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water if you come in contact with a turtle, its housing and/or food.
- Keep turtles out of homes with children under 5 years old, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems.
- Don’t allow turtles to roam freely through the house, especially in food preparation areas.
- Do not clean turtle tanks or other supplies in the kitchen sink. Use bleach to disinfect a tub or other place where turtle habitats are cleaned.