Salmonellosis epidemic linked to common turtles …

Salmonellosis epidemic linked to common turtles …

Salmonellosis epidemic linked to common turtles …

In the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials from several states are investigating a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis in Salmonella Typhimurium linked to contact with small turtles.

As of February 20, 2021, 22 people infected with S.Typhimurium have been reported in 7 states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania). The diseases began between August 27, 2020 and January 16, 2021. The patients are aged between 1 year and 59 years and 31% are women. One death has been reported in Pennsylvania.

Of the 18 people who provided this information, 15 (83%) said they had come into contact with pet turtles. Of the 9 people who indicated the size of their turtle, 9 (100%) said they had been in contact with turtles whose carapace was less than 10 cm in length. People said they get their turtles from various places (markets, roadside vendors, pet store).Analysis of strains by whole genome sequencing (WGS) has shown that bacteria from samples from sick people are genetically closely related which means the same source. On January 29, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health took samples from a turtle’s habitat at the home of a sick person and the WGS showed that the salmonella in the turtle’s environment was closely related. bacteria from sick people. The salmonella involved in this epidemic does not show acquired resistance to antibiotics.

To date, no common supplier of small turtles has yet been identified.

Note : In the United States, the sale and possession of small turtles (shell length less than 10 cm) is illegal because they are likely to cause salmonella infection, especially in children.

Recommendations :

Amphibians and reptiles can carry Salmonella even if they appear healthy and clean. In order to limit the risk of transmission to humans from animals or their environment, the CDC reminds the rules to be followed:

    Reptiles and amphibians are not recommended for children under 5, adults over 65, or people with weakened immune systems,
    Strict hand hygiene is essential immediately after touching, feeding or caring for pets or after cleaning their habitat.
    Amphibians and reptiles should be excluded from kitchens and other places where food is prepared, served, stored or consumed.
    Cleaning of pet habitats should be done outside the home when possible. Otherwise, the equipment used (bathtub, sink, basin, etc.) and its environment must be cleaned and disinfected carefully immediately afterwards.Play safe.
    Finally, it is prohibited:

      To kiss or snuggle up with reptiles and amphibians, or to hold them close to his face.
      To let the animal roam freely in its house.
      Touching your mouth after handling reptiles and amphibians.
      To eat and drink near animals.

Source : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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