The CDC is reporting that a new outbreak of three, rare strains of Salmonella is making its way across America, currently affecting 16 states.
The cause? Baby turtles. I had always heard that tiny turtles carried salmonella, but I thought that it was just something that moms made up because they didn't want their kids bringing them home. You can get those things for like $1 in just about any Chinatown or local pet store across the country. It's a cost effective pet solution that is hard to resist...they can be pretty darn cute.
Arizona (2), California (8), Georgia (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (6), Michigan (1), North Carolina (1), New Jersey (6), New Mexico (3), New York (21), Pennsylvania (7), Texas (3), Virginia (1), and Vermont (1) are the 16 states that have experienced outbreaks so far. You can go to the CDC website for more details.
You should always be alert and take precautions to prevent infection by thoroughly washing hands, using hand sanitizer and wiping down your equipment, desk and counters with disinfectants or pre-moistened gym wipes. You never know where you might come in contact with someone or something that has been exposed and taking the right precautions are the only way to stop an outbreak from spreading.
My mom got one of these turtles at the Five and Dime when she was like six years old and that turtle lived to be 40 years old. It was named Frisky and lived behind the refridgerator at my grandparents' house. We were always getting yelled at for leaving the basement door open because Frisky would fall down the stairs. As far as pets went, he was pretty boring. His turtle bowl always kind of smelled no matter how often you cleaned it, his toe nails had to be clipped and he never did a whole lot. Still, I guess as far as turtles go, Frisky was pretty cool. Still better than having a cat.