Salmonellosis in Herps

24 05 2011

Salmonellosis in Herps

Reptiles still remain a source of human Salmonella infections according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.  In 2006 approximately 20 cases of Salmonellosis have been reported in the US from reptiles of which at least one resulted in the death of a small child.  Eighty percent of these cases resulted from exposure to turtles.

The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of turtles in 1975 with a carapace of less than 4 inches in part due to the risk of disease from Salmonella.  Reptile and amphibian owners should always wash their hands with soap and water after handling their pets or after cleaning their cages.  It is also advised that households with children under five years of age and immuno-compromised persons should not collect herps.

References:

“Salmonellosis and Turtles.” Pet Age.  October 2007. p. 67.

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