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Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Feb 15;50(4):554-9. doi: 10.1086/649932.

Recent multistate outbreaks of human salmonella infections acquired from turtles: a continuing public health challenge.

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Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Workforce and Career Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA30309, USA.


The federal ban in the United States on the sale of turtles with shell lengths <4 inches that was established in 1975 has reduced the number of turtle-associated human Salmonella infections during subsequent years, especially among children. Although numerous sporadic turtle-associated Salmonella infections in humans have been reported since the ban went into effect, outbreaks were not reported until recently. Since 2006, 3 multistate outbreaks of turtle-associated Salmonella infections have been documented in the United States. This review examines the history of turtle-associated human Salmonella infections in the United States and discusses reasons why an increase in turtle-associated salmonellosis may be occurring and how challenges in enforcement of the ban affect disease control. Additional steps should be considered by the public health community, state governments, and enforcement agencies to prevent turtle-associated Salmonella infections in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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