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By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Federal health officials report investigating a Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak  linked to contact with pet turtles.


To date, 21 people have been infected with the outbreak strain from 13 states, including seven requiring hospitalization.

No deaths have been reported.

Interviews with ill people indicate that contact with pet turtles is the likely source of this outbreak. The investigation is ongoing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says any turtle can carry Salmonella bacteria even if they look healthy and clean.

They offer the following advice concerning pet turtles:

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a turtle or cleaning its habitat.
  • Don’t let turtles roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens.
  • Avoid cleaning habitats, toys, and pet supplies in the kitchen or any location where food is prepared, served, or stored.
  • Pick the right pet for your family. CDC recommends that turtles, other reptiles, and amphibians (like frogs) not be kept in households with children younger than age 5, older adults, or people with weakened immune systems.