For decades now, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series have been in existence and has caused many dollars in merchandise, just because turtles are good.
People keep falling sick, despite the information about turtles and their infection to humans who handle them – giving them Salmonella.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella outbreak is presently affecting many states, and is believed to have started through human-turtle contact, and has caused 37 people in 13 different states since March. Almost half of the infected persons have been hospitalised, which is more than what has been. This was disclosed by a CDC veterinarian who looks into these types of outbreaks, Megin Nicholas.
About one-third of the patients have been children below the age of 5, who are prone to sickness because of their small immune system
The Feds have restricted the sale of the smallest turtles, especially those below four inches right from 1975 because they can increase the spread salmonella. But it appears to be that little critters, which can be seen at outdoor and flea markets, are highly irresistible.
According to Nichols, they seem like toys, making kids put it in their mouth, touch them and put their hands in their mouths. Apparently, kids and some adults are not good at washing their hands often and thoroughly.
The baby turtles cause most of the Salmonella infection because young animals are often stressed when they are handled; causing them shed their salmonella in their environment. Nichols added that when these turtles infect the environment with salmonella, they do so on their cages, in their water and even in their food. When someone touches it without washing their hands, they get infected.
Effects of Salmonella
Salmonella infections can cause abdominal pain, blood in the stool, diarrhoea and others. Nichols warns that anyone with such symptom, and may have possibly come in contact with a reptile recently should contact a doctor.
He added that responsible pet stores sell bigger turtles and give out information about the infection and how to prevent contraction. He recalled a report in 2009 about the salmonella outbreak in the past two years that caused illness for over 100. The investigation then began following a report that two girls fell sick after swimming with turtles.
Likewise, in 2015, it was reported that a paediatrics journal had recorded about eight outbreaks in 41 states, with about 473 ailments. About 28% of the ill persons had ot seek medical attention.
CDC’s Nichols says the number of salmonella cases would have been greater if there was no ban of tiny turtles.
However, pet turtles can and other reptiles can live healthily with the family that adopts them when they are properly cared for. But the CDC advocates amphibians and reptiles not be a member of a family with little kids.