Tiny turtles may seem cute and adorable, but according to health authorities, most of salmonella outbreaks in the country are caused by these creatures.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that from January last year until April of this year, there have been four massive multi-state human salmonella outbreaks across the country. These outbreaks, according to the report, are caused by turtles with the size of less than four inches.
These separate outbreaks have already affected 133 individuals from 26 states across the country. Of the 133 individuals, a total of 38 individuals ended up in hospitals, the report added. Luckily, no deaths have been recorded in relation to the outbreaks observed.
“Reptiles can carry Salmonella germs and still appear healthy and clean. Salmonella germs are shed in reptile feces (droppings) and can easily contaminate their bodies and anything in areas where these animals live. Reptiles that live in tanks or aquariums can contaminate the water with germs, which can spread to people,” the CDC reported.
After sensing the threat posed by tiny turtles, especially among children, the CDC, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has already banned the sale of the animals in the country since 1975. But despite the regulation of such sale, cases of salmonella outbreaks from these animals are still a problem even to this day.
The CDC report added that the same incident has already prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue a bulletin on the ongoing investigation conducted by the CDC about the salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. It notes that tiny turtles from the U.S. exported to other countries pose a serious threat of further proliferation of the bacteria.