Who doesn’t love looking at a cute little pet turtle?
According to the CDC, that’s actually all you should be doing around these turtles today – just looking at them!
The Centers for Disease Control recently released an official investigation notice stating that a multi-state salmonella outbreak has been linked to small turtles.
While they may seem cute, turtles with shells that are less than four inches long have been known to carry diseases and harmful bacteria, including salmonella. Although there has been a federal ban on selling these turtles, many of them are still sold illegally throughout the United States today.
In fact, turtles of any size can spread the bacteria through their waste, so it’s important to be extra cautious around them.
Currently, 11 states have been dealing with the salmonella outbreak, and 26 people have been infected. Nine of those people have been hospitalized.
While this all sounds scary, turtles can still be excellent pets for you or your family. You just have to know how to care for them and yourself properly!
When choosing a turtle to bring home, make sure you get one from a reputable source and its shell is longer than four inches. If you live in a home with children under five years old or adults over 65, getting a turtle may not be the best idea, as people in these age groups are more vulnerable to disease.
If and when you adopt a turtle, you must be very diligent about keeping your hands clean immediately after touching the turtle, feeding it, or handling anything in its environment. While it may be tempting, do not snuggle or kiss your turtle! The close contact is a sure way to spread harmful germs.