The CDC has updated their investigation into six multistate Salmonella outbreaks linked to small turtles. Now, 168 people are ill. We’ve told you about this investigation before; the last update was July 1, 2012. The ill persons live in 30 states.
The number of ill persons in each state are: Alabama (2), Alaska (2), Arizona (5), California (28), Colorado (5), Delaware (3), Georgia (3), Illinois (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (6), Massachusetts (5), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), New Jersey (7), North Carolina (1), New Mexico (6), Nevada (8), New York (25), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (16), South Carolina (4), Tennessee (4), Texas (19), Vermont (1), Virginia (4), and West Virginia (1). Thirty-four ill persons have been hospitalized; there have been no deaths.
The FDA has banned the sale of small turtles since 1975 specifically because of this Salmonella infection risk. Turtles under 4″ should not be purchased or given as gifts. Sixty-four percent of the patients are children 10 years old or younger, and 27% are 1 year old or younger.
Seventy-two percent of ill persons reported exposure to turtles before they got sick. And 94% of patients with turtle exposure reported handling small turtles before their illness began. Thirty-nine percent of ill persons with small turtles purchased them from street vendors, and 15% purchased them from pet stores.
Outbreak 1: A total of 70 people are infected with Salmonella Sandiego, Strain A, and Salmonella Newport, Strain A, in 15 states. The eight new cases in this outbreak are from California (2), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (2), Nevada (1), Pennsylvania (1), and Texas (1). Illness onset dates range from August 3, 2011 to July 9, 2012. The age range is from less than 1 year to 86 years.
Outbreak 2: A total of 15 people are infected with Salmonella Pomona, Strain A in 10 states. The four new cases in this outbreak are from California (1), Nevada (1), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1). Illness onset dates range from December 9, 2011 to July 16, 2012. The age range is from less than 1 year to 90 years.
Outbreak 3: A total of 21 individuals are infected with Salmonella Poona in 11 states. The four new cases are from Louisiana (1), Mississippi (1), and Tennessee (2). Illness onset dates range from October 20, 2011 to July 2, 2012. The age range is from less than 1 year to 70 years.
There are no new cases in Outbreak 4, which is caused by Salmonella Sandiego, Strain B. May 10, 2012 was the last update for this particular outbreak.
Outbreak 5: A total of 50 people are infected with Salmonella Pomona, Strain B, in 20 states. The three new cases are from Illinois (1), New Mexico (1), and Texas (1). Illness onset dates range from June 21, 2011 to July 11, 2912. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 86 years.
There are no new cases reported in Outbreak 6, caused by Salmonella Poona, Strain B. There is only one person in this outbreak.