051012-map.jpgCDC reports a total of 124 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona, and Salmonella Poona have been reported from 27 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alaska (2), Alabama (1), Arizona (3), California (21), Colorado (5), Delaware (3), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (6), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Nevada (4), New Jersey (7), New Mexico (3), New York (24), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (9), South Carolina (3), Texas (12), Virginia (3), Vermont (1), and West Virginia (1).

19 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

67% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger.

Two new multistate outbreaks linked to small turtles have been identified since the prior update on April 5, 2012. Overall, 5 multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infection are linked with exposure to small turtles.

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.

75% of ill persons reported exposure to turtles prior to their illness.

Small turtles (shell length less than 4 inches) were reported by 93% of cases with turtle exposure. Forty-three percent of ill persons with small turtles reported purchasing the turtles from street vendors.

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.