Sunday, January 27, 2008

Salmonella carried by pet turtles sickens 100

Florida's ban on the sale of red eared slider turtles (mentioned previously here and here) is looking like it was a good idea. The LA Times reported on a outbreak of salmonella linked to pet turtles. Over 100 people were sickened and this was the largest reported outbreak of its kind. Salmonella is often associated with food poisoning, but 6% of infections come from turtles, which can carry the disease and do not show symptoms. Small turtles are especially likely to spread the disease because they are bred in crowded conditions and frequently given to children as pets. From the article: "Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County's public health director, said he had a simple piece of advice for parents thinking about buying a pet turtle -- don't."

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