BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland health officials are warning people to take care when handling baby animals after six people fell ill after being exposed to baby turtles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating three salmonella outbreaks associated with red-eared slider turtles that affected 63 people in 16 states since the fall.

Officials say five of the six Marylanders were hospitalized, but all have recovered. All six were exposed to turtles smaller than four inches wide and three reported buying the turtle from a neighborhood vendor. The sale of such small turtles is prohibited.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene warns that baby animals such as turtles, chicks, ducklings, and rabbits — some of which are commonly associated with Easter — can pass salmonella and other harmful bacteria to people.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  1. anonymous says:

    I saw a “community vendor” selling small turtles a few weeks ago on the sidewalk along Monument St. and near N Collington Ave. or N Patterson Park Ave. There are illegal sales along those few blocks of Monument St. all the time. It’s a blue light district that I thought was monitored by camera, yet I very rarely see police when I drive through there for work every day. I have also seen sales of packages of socks and t-shirts from the back of an SUV, and sales of dresses/suits/clothing from a rack inside a storage shed in an alley. My guess is they’re all stolen items to begin with….. I think the police should invest in some undercover officers to break up these illegal sales. If they need the money, they could take down those blue lights/cameras that don’t seem to get much use.

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