GrizzlyRun Request a Listing
Contact Us
SEARCH     IN     search  
  Home \  Articles \  Potentially Fatal Salmonella Infections from Pet Turtles
Article Overview
Request A Listing

Potentially Fatal Salmonella Infections from Pet Turtles
FDA Patient Safety News: Show #84, March 2009

Turtles may look like cute pets, but it is estimated that they are responsible for over 70,000 cases of Salmonella infections every year in this country.

Some of these infections can be serious or even fatal. In one case, a four week-old infant died of a Salmonella infection that was traced to a pet turtle in the home. In another case, two teenage girls became very ill after they swam in an unchlorinated family pool where pet turtles had been allowed to swim.

Children, people with compromised immune systems, the elderly and pregnant women are especially susceptible to Salmonella infections. In addition to their susceptibility from an immune standpoint, young children are at high risk because they are likely to handle the turtles, and then without washing their hands, handle food or touch their mouths, which increases the possibility of ingesting the bacteria.

It does not require touching the turtle to be exposed to the Salmonella, because the turtle sporadically sheds the bacteria into its water and housing. So people cleaning the turtle’s bowl can become infected, too. Salmonella is also carried by other reptiles and amphibians.

FDA’s primary recommendation is to not buy small turtles as pets or gifts. For those who already own a turtle, reptile, or amphibian, here are some basic rules to help prevent illness:

• If your family is expecting a child, remove the animal from the home before the baby arrives.

• Keep turtles out of homes with children under five, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems.

• Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching the turtle or any object it has come in contact with.

• Do not clean turtle tanks or other supplies in the kitchen sink, and use bleach to disinfect the area where the turtle tank is cleaned.

• Be aware that children can contract Salmonella infections from turtles in petting zoos, parks, classrooms and daycare facilities.

• If you do have a turtle, watch for symptoms of Salmonella infection, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and headache, and call a doctor if these occur.

African Clawed Water Frog, Amazon, Amphibians, Anoles - Anolis carolinesis - Anole Pet Care Guide, Ball Python, Bearded Dragons - pogona Vitticeps - Bearded dragon care guide, Blue Tongued Skink, Bullfrog, Chameleons, Corn Snake, Crested Gecko - Rhacodactylus ciliatus - Crested Gecko Pet Care Guide, Day Gecko - genus Phelsuma - Day Gecko Pet Care Guide, Emerald Tree Boa, Fat Tailed Gecko - Hemitheconyx caudicinctus - Fat Tailed Gecko Pet Care Guide, Fire Bellied Toad, Fire-Bellied Newt, Frogs, Gargoyle Gecko, Geckos, Green Frog, Green Iguana, Green Tree Frog, Horned Frog, Horned Frog Q and A, House Gecko - Hemidactylus frenatus - House Gecko Pet Care Guide, Iguanas, Jackson's Chameleon - Chamaeleo Jacksonii - Jackson Chameleon Pet Care Guide, King Snake, Leopard Frog, Leopard Gecko - Eublepharius macularius - Leopard Gecko Pet Care Guide, Lizards, Long-tailed Grass Lizard - Takydromus sexlineatus - Long-tailed Grass Lizard Pet Care Guide, Monkey Tree Frog, Mossy Prehensile Tailed Gecko, New Caledonian Giant Gecko - Rhacodactylus leachianus - New Caledonian Giant Gecko Pet Care Guide, Newts, Painted Turtle, Panther Chameleon - Calumma Pardalis - Panther Chameleon Pet Care Guide, Pickerel Frog, Poison Dart Frogs, Red Backed Salamander, Red Eared Slider, Red Eyed Tree Frog, Red Spotted Newt Care, Red Tail Boa, Redfoot Tortoise, Reptiles, Ribbon Snake, Ribbon Snake - Garter Snake Questions and Answers, Rosy Boa, Rough Skinned Newt, Skinks, Snakes, Snapping Turtle, Spotted Salamander, Tegus, Tokay Gecko - Gekko gecko - Tokay Gecko Pet Care Guide, Turtles, Veiled Chameleon - Chamaeleo calyptorarus - Veiled Chameleon Pet Care Guide
Page Last Updated: Monday, July 6, 2009 03:45 EST
© 2005 - About Us | Advertise | Contact Us