Health Care

37 people nationwide contract infection linked to turtles

37 people nationwide contract infection linked to turtles”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said August 31, 37 people have become ill since March, after coming in contact with turtles. The culprit? Contact with adorable pet turtles and their environments.

Sixteen people ended up in hospital from their illnesses.

Experts have linked the infections to contact with turtles or their environment after fifteen (45%) of the people reported having touched turtles or been exposed to their environments in the week before they became ill.

There have been 37 reported cases of turtle-related salmonella across 13 states.

The CDC recommends not having a turtle in any household where people living there are children under the age of five, elderly individuals or people with lowered immunity due to pregnancy, organ transplant, cancer, chemotherapy, diabetes or other diseases. Some claimed that they had purchased the turtle from a street vendor or flea market while some received the animal as gift. That's because they're often tied to Salmonella infections, especially in kids.

The CDC says that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned selling and distributing turtles with shells less than four inches long as pets since 1975. "These outbreaks are a reminder to follow simple steps to enjoy pet reptiles and keep your family healthy", the CDC said in a statement. Salmonella symptoms consist of diarrhea, fever, chills, and abdominal pain. "This can increase your risk of getting sick", the CDC says in its guide, titled "The Trouble with Tiny Turtles". Those with weakened immune systems, adults over 65 years old, and young children below 5 years old are most vulnerable to severe infection.

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