From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
They’re small and slow - and sources of salmonella.
Small turtles, those whose shells measure four inches or less, would seem to be ideal pets because of their size and easy care.
But many of these tiny creatures carry salmonella, and can infect people who touch the turtles or come in contact with their habitats. Children and infants are at particular risk from this serious illness.
At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Mark Sotir examined data on more than 100 infections in 33 states. He cautions:
“Small children are at particular risk. I would educate them to avoid touching or handling the turtles or their habitats.” (6 seconds)
He recommends that families with small children not purchase pet turtles, and that people always thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with turtles or their environment.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011