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.

 

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Lake Tahoe, NV, Sand Harbor (2) 9-2010

5 Ways to Have a More Active Vacation

For those of us who like to live an active lifestyle here are some tips for staying active while you're on vacation where it can be very difficult.

Subscribe to our newsletter

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

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Car

Canada Hit-And-Run Attack Perpetrator 'Radicalized?' Authorities Cite Similar Case Last Year As Basis

The Canada hit-and-run attack suspect, who was killed by the authorities after a long chase, is now believed to have been "radicalized" because of the on-going terrorism in the country.

Eric Matthew Frein

Pennsylvania Man Hunt: Schools Close As Man Hunt Drags On, Eric Frein Spotted In Close Proximity To Schools, Children Unsafe With Man Hunt Ongoing?

Pennsylvania man hunt of Eric Frein has dragged on to its’ second month. Frein is wanted for the murder of a state trooper, Cpl. Bryon Dickson, last Sept. 12. Named as “extremely dangerous” by Pennsylvania authorities, Frein has already been added to FBI’s most wanted fugitives.

ISIS Militants In Syria

Denver Girls ISIS: FBI Reviewing Evidence Against Three Girls Believed To Be Heading To Syria To Join Islamic State Militants: Report

Denver Girls ISIS - At least three girls from Denver have been denied their right to travel after authorities found out that they were heading to Syria via Turkey. The FBI is looking into evidence that could prove the girls' intention of joining the Islamic State militants.

Caribbean Princess, Dublin Port

Ebola-Risk Hospital Worker Boards Caribbean Cruise Ship; U.S. Officials To Limit Their Public Appearances

An Ebola-risk health care worker boarding a cruise ship is being isolated despite not showing any signs and symptoms of the deadly disease while U.S. officials asked the health workers exposed to the Ebola infected patients to limit public appearances.

Defective Takata airbags prompted the recall of about 247,000 Toyota model vehicles.

Takata Airbag Recall 2014: Toyota Withdraw Models For Defective Inflators

Takata airbag defect prompts the recall of several Toyota Motor Corp models in the United States on Monday.

Vials

Cure For Ebola Found: Canada To Ship 800 Vials of Experimental Vaccine, China Claims To Have Found Cure

Cure for Ebola found – Canada is reported to send out 800 vials of an experimental drug set out to cure the Ebola outbreak. The cure for Ebola found is an experimental drug named VSV-EBOV. All 800 vials had been tested on primates and showed positive results.

California Drought Map

California Drought Map Reveals 58% Of State Suffers Deficiency Of Water Supply Amid Imminent Winter Season

California's drought map still shows an alarming phenomenon at the Golden State wherein 58% of the area is suffering from deficiency of water supply, be it atmospheric, surface or ground water.

Daniela Poggiali

Nurse Kills 38 Patients Because She Got Annoyed; Co-Workers Say Italian Nurse Daniela Poggiali Is 'Cynical And Vindictive'

Nurse Kills 38 Patients - Italian nurse Daniela Poggiali is one healthcare professional you should be wary of if ever you get confined in a hospital in Italy. For one thing, she is notorious for killing up to 38 patients after she got completely annoyed of them or of their families.

Cattle Return From Alpine Summer Grazing

World's Tallest Cattle Found In Illinois, How Tall Is Blosom The Cow?

World’s tallest cattle is found in Illinois. Owned by Patty Hanson, Blosom the cow has been named Guinness World Records’ tallest cow. How big and tall exactly is Blosom?

Grizzly Bear

Man, 56, Attacked By Bear Shot Accidentally By Hunting Partner Who Tried To Save Him From The Beast

A man attacked by bear was shot by his friend while the latter was attempting to spare him from the brutal attack of the beast.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics