No pet turtles for Xmas

Pet turtles can kill. Or make a bunch of kids barf.

North Carolina is the latest area to be hit — after five kids got sick with salmonellosis after handling pet turtles.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) investigated the cluster of five cases – four in North Carolina (Burke, Lincoln, Union and Montgomery counties) and one in South Carolina (York County).  Four of the children had positive cultures for salmonella. The fifth did not have a positive culture but was sick and had contact with a confirmed case.  All five children have recovered, although one was hospitalized with kidney failure as a result of the infection. The children all got sick this past summer.

Veterinarians recently tested the Union County child’s pet turtle cage; it tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella that was responsible for the outbreak.

They may appear cute, but reptiles are Salmonella factories. And who knows what kids will do with them.