Three outbreaks of Salmonella poisoning caused by exposure to tiny pet turtles have burgeoned into five outbreaks, with 124 people infected in 27 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.
Sixty-seven percent of those sick from the outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona and Salmonella Poona are children under 10. At least 19 people have been hospitalized…
The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of turtles with shells smaller than 4 inches in 1975 because they’re disease vectors, especially for Salmonella. The turtles remain a popular street-vendor item, however. Like other reptiles treated as pets, as well as pet amphibians like frogs, the tiny turtles can carry Salmonella even if they appear to be healthy and clean.
People can become infected by handling the turtles or from exposure to anything in their tanks or aquariums.
Once again, we learn how thoroughly parents keep informed about products that can affect their children. Reading does help, folks. Not everything makes the news on local TV at 5PM.
Plus – we witness what a great job governments at all levels perform at managing the distribution and sale of dangerous goods. The street vendors got these little critters somewhere inside the United States. They didn’t magically appear in chain stores for resale.