It is being reported that CDC officials have linked a massive outbreak of salmonella bacteria in humans to pet turtles.
The outbreak was first identified in the US in late August, and since then has infected hundreds of people, the majority of which are young children.
To date no deaths have been reported in humans, but more than 25 people have been hospitalized from their infections.
“With over 100 cases reported, that’s fairly substantial,” Mark Sotir, a CDC epidemiologist in Atlanta, was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times. “For every case that’s reported to the CDC, we estimate 30 or 40 sick people that haven’t been reported.”
The best advice for parents contemplating buying a pet turtle? Don’t. “If you have them, make sure you’re washing your hands a lot after you’re touching them,” Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County’s public health director, told the LA Times.