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Salmonella in children caused by turtles

Salmonella in children caused by turtles



Turtles as pets are responsible for 103 cases of Salmonella infections in the last half of last year, HealthDay News reports.

Official sources say that the number of Salmonella infections is much higher. For example, although since 1975 the marketing of turtles as pets, has been banned in the US, the number of people who have purchased these reptiles for children is increasing.
There were no deaths, but Salmonella infection led to the hospitalization of many children. The 103 cases registered represent only a small part of the total number of Salmonella infections caused by turtles as pets.
Two of the 103 children are 2 girls aged 13 and 15 who became ill after swimming in the pool where a turtle was left, one of the girls.
The danger is very high, given that 90% of turtles are carrying Salmonella, a very serious infection, especially for young children.
The infection spreads through contact with the animal; the contact does not have to be direct. For example, it is sufficient that in the bath in which the child is bathed the waste resulting from the animal has been discarded.
Young children should not come in contact with turtles, not even with the environment (home) in which they live, the Salmonella bacterium can withstand surfaces for up to several weeks.
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, caused by Salmonella, generally occur within 12 to 36 hours of contact and may last between 2 and 7 days.
Gabriela Hotareanu
Editor
January 25, 2008