Though owning turtles as pets have been banned in the United States since 1970's, illegally owning them has led to the rise in salmonella outbreaks across the country.
A new study published in the Journal Pediatrics
revealed that 473 people have been affected with Salmonella between 2011 and 2013 in the US. It was prominent in 41 states, where many had restricted themselves from getting treated.
‘All turtles can carry salmonella, a deadly bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps in infected people.
Salmonella commonly affects children below 4 years and CDC report showed that 68 percent of the patients had contact with a turtle, where among these, 88 percent reported the turtle to be a small one.
Most people were not aware that turtle carries Salmonella and one can get affected without touching the animal too. Cross-contamination of surfaces can cause illness as well.
The report revealed that only about 15 percent of patients or their caregivers knew about the link between turtles and salmonella. Children who are infected with salmonella must be hospitalized and treated with antibiotics.
All turtles can carry salmonella and transmit it to people. Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. Symptoms can be mild but it can kill vulnerable people.