196 sick with Salmonella; kids, step away from the turtle

Kissing turtles remains a bad idea.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports 196 people are infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona, and Salmonella Poona in 31 states.

• 36 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported;

• 63% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger, and 29% of ill persons are children 1 year of age or younger; and,

55% of ill persons are of Hispanic ethnicity. Information about the association between reptiles and Salmonella is now available in Spanish.

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.