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Turtles and hedgehogs connected to salmonella outbreak
More than 160 individuals in 30 states have been infected with the salmonella bacterium, and 90 percent of them are less than 10 years old, according to a bulletin from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency states that these outbreaks are the result of contact with infected small turtles, which were declared illegal to keep as pets by the Food and Drug Administration more than 30 years ago.
Salmonella can cause fever, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Most cases don't require hospitalization, although some individuals require emergency medicine for unrelenting diarrhea and dehydration.
"Many people don't know that turtles and other reptiles can carry harmful germs that can make people very sick. For this reason, turtles and other reptiles might not be the best pets for your family, especially if there are children 5-years-old and younger or people with weakened immune systems living in your home," said Casey Barton Behravesh, deputy branch chief of the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch of the CDC.
Meanwhile, six states have been hit with a different strain of the stomach infection, this time caused by pet hedgehogs. The CDC reports 14 individuals, half of whom are below the age of 10, were infected before August 13. Immediate care was needed for three of these individuals who ended up being hospitalized, according to Global Financial News.
According to the CDC, salmonella can be spread through droppings of many types of reptiles and amphibians, which can contaminate their habitat. The bacteria can also be found in insufficiently cooked poultry, pork, beef, eggs and unpasteurized milk. The organization advises against purchasing small turtles, and recommends making sure children and individuals with weak immune systems keep a good distance from any reptiles. Moreover, any facilities where children are present should not contain reptiles.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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