Salmonella Outbreak In 11 States Linked To Household Pet, CDC Says


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday that a massive outbreak of salmonella is linked to pet turtles.

At least 26 people have contracted salmonella, with nine of those hospitalized across 11 states, as of Friday, but the outbreak is still active, according to the CDC. Turtles are not the most common household pet, but there are still plenty across the U.S.

Federal law restricts the ownership of turtles with shells less than 4 inches long because they are tied to so many different diseases, particularly some that impact small children, the CDC continued. But many people continue to sell turtles, which often carry salmonella germs in their poop.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea and a high fever, usually above 102°F, that does not improve after several days. Some people also have blood in their diarrhea. Patients also vomit so much that they cannot retain even liquids, which leads to dehydration. These symptoms start anywhere from a few hours to a week after swallowing salmonella bacteria.

In the most recent outbreak, patients have been identified in California, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri, the CDC continued. It’s likely that many other cases exist, but due to poor access to medical care, many patients will go undiagnosed and treated.

Previous outbreaks have been linked to raw cookie dough, alfalfa sprouts, raw salmon, and bearded dragons, according to The Hill. (RELATED: Poisonous Mushroom Meal Allegedly Kills 3 Family Members, One Person Under Investigation)

Another outbreak is currently suspected, linked to ground beef, according to another CDC notice. No official recall of any particular beef products has been announced, despite 16 illnesses and four hospitalizations as of July 2023.