Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Tiny Pet Turtles Blamed For Salmonella Outbreak, Symptoms and Advice

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Oct 01, 2012 03:25 PM EDT

Text Size: A A A

turtles
Tiny pet turtles are the culprit for salmonella outbreaks around the country.(Photo : Reuters)

Tiny pet turtles may be adorable, but they are also the source for a recent insurgence of salmonella outbreaks around the country, most of which are children.

The tiny turtles which thrive on the black market have been banned by The Food and Drug Administration if they have shells less than 4 inches long. This was due to an incident in 1975, where kids would kiss the tiny pet and contaminate themselves with salmonella poisoning.

Joseph C. Paige, D.V.M., a Consumer Safety Officer in the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Center for Veterinary Medicine said on the FDA website, "It is the small turtles that most often are put in contact with young children, where consequences of infection are likely to be severe," he said.

Share This Story

"Young children are ingenious in constructing ways to infect themselves. They put the small turtles in their mouths or, more often, they touch the turtles or dangle their fingers in the turtle tank water and then put their hands in their mouths. Also, sometimes the tanks and reptile paraphernalia are cleaned in the kitchen sink, and food and eating utensils get cross-contaminated."

According to the FDA turtle-related illnesses have dropped since after the ban, but illegal trade of the turtles which are used as pets is on the rise. They are often raised on turtle farms and sold in flea markets, on the web, or at pet stores. Since last year there have been salmonella outbreaks reported in 30 states.

Mike Lathroum, a senior officer with the Maryland Natural Resources Police said to United Press International, "We've really seen a big influx of these turtles for sale. I don't know why. We've not been able to determine the source."

"We've not been successful at putting anyone in jail," Lathroum added. "A lot of times these people are from out of state, so getting them back here for court has been difficult. We write the ticket, and they go on their way."

Reported by the Washington Post In 2007 a three week old baby died due to salmonella from a pet turtle which had been purchased at a flea market in Florida. A few months later two teenaged girls were in the emergency room, one with kidney failure after swimming in a backyard pool that was unchlorinated and had two small turtles in it.

The FDA recommends the following dos and don't's on their website  when it comes to turtles and salmonella:

  • Don't buy small turtles or other reptiles or amphibians for pets or as gifts.
  • If your family is expecting a child, remove any reptile or amphibian from the home before the infant arrives.
  • Keep reptiles and amphibians out of homes with children under 5 years old, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems.
  • Do not allow reptiles or amphibians to roam freely through the house, especially in food preparation areas.
  • Do not clean aquariums or other supplies in the kitchen sink. Use bleach to disinfect a tub or other place where reptile or amphibian habitats are cleaned.
  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching any reptile or amphibian, its housing, or anything (for example, food) that comes in contact with the animal or its housing.
  • Be aware that Salmonella infection can be caused by contact with reptiles or amphibians in petting zoos, parks, child day care facilities, or other locations.
  • Watch for symptoms of Salmonella infection, such as diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and headache. Call your doctor if you or your family have any of these symptoms.

 

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Snapchat

Girl Selfie With Dead Body: Incident Repeats In Pennsylvania, Guy Uses SnapChat To Forward Photo Of Murdered Victim

Apparently, there’s a bizarre trend going around these past few months. Teenagers have been taking selfies to the extremes. Last Feb 2014, an Alabama high school student was under fire after taking a selfie with a dead body from a biology lab. Yet, the girl selfie with dead body isn’t the worst of its kind as the latest involves a boy from Pennsylvania who took a selfie with the body of his murder victim.

Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Coast Guard Shooting In Cape Cod: Adrian Loya's 'Obsession' With Lesbian Fellow Officer Led To Deadly Shooting, One Dead And Two Injured

Coast Guard Shooting – Adrian Loya, Petty Office Second Class, has finally been arrested following the deadly shoot out leaving one female Coast Guard dead, while severely injuring another Coast Guard and a cop. What led to the deadly shooting?

Canadian Flag

Canada ALLOWING Doctor-Assisted Suicide After Highest Court’s Unanimous Ruling

Canada is now allowing doctor-assisted suicide after its highest court has approved it in a unanimous ruling on Friday.

Anthem

Anthem President Apologizes Following 80 Million Records Hack, Hoping To Earn Back Clients’ Trust

After the massive hacking incident on the personal data of Anthem clients, the president of the health insurance provider apologized in hopes of regaining the trust of the people.

Sea Lions

Starving Sea Lion Pups California: Starving Sea Lions Wash Up On Shore, Third Time In A Row, Experts In Panic

Starving Sea Lion Pups California – For the third time in a row, starving sea lion pups are washing up on the shore of California. Experts are already panicking over the latest development. What exactly is happening that has led to more than a hundred sea lion pups getting washed up on shore?

Watch: Taiwan plane crash caught on video; at least 26 dead

Taiwan Plane Crash 2014 Repeats: Another Deadly Crash In Country Reported, 31 People Dead, 12 Missing, What Happened To Flight?

Taiwan Plane Crash 2014 – In July 2014, a plane had crashed in Taiwan killing more than 40 people. In a tragic turn of events, another plane crash had occurred in Taiwan and this time it took the lives of 31 people. What exactly went wrong with the flight?

Shark Left On Subway

Shark Left On Subway: Bizarre New York Subway Encounters, Dead Shark Real Or Not?

Shark Left On Subway – For those taking a subway ride in New York City, some of you would have probably seen the most bizarre acts and stuff lying around. However, nothing beats the dead shark that was left in the subway back in the year 2013. The big question is was it a real shark or not?

Malaysian Plane crash in Ukraine after being struck down by missile. 295 passengers on board were killed.

Selfie After Plane Crash: GoPro Video Reveals Pilot Taking Selfies During Flight, Selfies Led To Colorado Plane Crash

Selfie After Plane Crash – While a number of people claim selfies are simply harmless, the latest report about a plane crash due to selfies may make them think otherwise. A pilot reportedly lost control after taking multiple selfies with passengers and his co-captain. The said selfie led to a fatal crash in Colorado in May 31.

Berlin Mosque Outspoken Against Paris Attack

Paris Jewel Heist Trial Begins For Eight Convicted, Over $100 Million Worth Of Jewels Stolen

Paris Jewel Heist Trial – In what was recorded the most spectacular jewel heists of all time, it appears that the eight men involved in the heist are now set to go to trial. Back in 2008, eight men managed to take off with an estimated worth of $92 million jewels from the Harry Winston jewelry store in Paris.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics