A total of 219 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona, and Salmonella Poona have been reported from 34 states.
The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2), Alaska (2), Arizona (6), Arkansas (2), California (49), Colorado (5), Delaware (3), Georgia (5), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (6), Massachusetts (5), Michigan (3), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (9), New Jersey (10), New Mexico (6), New York (29), North Carolina (3), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (18), South Carolina (6), Tennessee (5), Texas (22), Vermont (1), Virginia (5), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (2).
36 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
66% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger, and 30% of ill persons are children 1 year of age or younger.
49% of ill persons are of Hispanic ethnicity. Information about the association between reptiles and Salmonella is available in Spanish.
Results of the epidemiologic and environmental investigations indicate exposure to turtles or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) is the cause of these outbreaks.
73% of ill persons reported exposure to turtles prior to their illness.
92% of ill persons with turtle exposure specifically reported exposure to small turtles (shell length less than 4 inches).
Small turtles are a well-known source of human Salmonella infections, especially among young children. Because of this risk, the Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale and distribution of these turtles as pets since 1975.
Turtles with a shell length of less than 4 inches in size should not be purchased as pets or given as gifts.