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Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Salmonella Death

It looks like a baby map turtle might be responsible for the death of an infant (the article is not specific, but it looks like this took place in Florida). Salmonella meningitis was the cause of death. The family is planning to sue the flea market where they got the baby turtle. (News source.)

Without trivializing the tragedy here, let me point out two things brought up by the article: 1) the problem here is not that a baby turtle was involved, but that a turtle of any size was brought into the home with an infant. All reptiles (and dogs, cats, etc.) have the potential for carrying salmonella. The rule about baby turtles is in place because small children have a bad habit of sticking things in their mouths; obviously, that wasn't a factor in this case. An infant is incapable of doing that, so it isn't the size of the turtle that is an issue. It's just a common sense health issue. Infants and reptiles (and most other pets) don't mix. 2) the ban on selling turtles under four inches is limited to business sales; the FDA has an exemption for non-commercial sales.



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