CDC links 2008 salmonella outbreak to pet turtles

March 4, 2010

A salmonella outbreak that sickened 135 people from March to November 2008 has been linked to exposure to small turtles, according to a report released last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the infections affected young children, through both firsthand exposure to turtles and person-to-person contact with people who were exposed to turtles.

The sale of turtles with a shell smaller than 4 inches in diameter has been banned in the United States since 1975. Although the ban significantly decreased incidences of salmonella, infections continue to occur. CDC called for increased enforcement of the small turtle ban to prevent the spread of salmonella.