Salmonella outbreak linked to small turtles

A salmonella outbreak has been linked to small turtles, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. So far, 15 people have been sick in 11 states, five of whom have required hospitalization.

“Many people in this outbreak have reported purchasing turtles with shells less than 4 inches long from online stores before becoming ill,” the CDC said. He noted that three of the sick people had purchased turtles from the myturtlestore.com website.

The CDC notes that it’s illegal to sell turtles this small, but that doesn’t always stop websites and some physical locations, like flea markets and roadside stands.

People can catch salmonella by touching a turtle or something in its environment and then touching their mouth or handling food without washing their hands first, the CDC said.

The CDC also notes that pet turtles of any size can carry salmonella, even if they appear healthy and clean.

To avoid getting sick, the CDC recommends washing your hands after handling and feeding pet turtles, and avoiding kissing or cuddling the animals. The CDC also advises people not to eat around their pet turtles.

The CDC says you should see a doctor if you have severe symptoms, including a fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days without improvement, and excessive vomiting.

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