Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Between September 2010 and October 2011, the Unit of Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health in Bizkaia, Spain identified eight cases of Salmonella Paratyphi B var Java infection and three cases of infection with its possible monophasic variant 4,5,12:b:- dT+. Six cases reported contact with turtles and S. Java was isolated from three of these turtles' habitats. The isolates from the patients and their respective turtles were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Although other reptiles can also carry Salmonella, turtles pose a special risk, as they are commonly kept as pets for children. This emphasizes the need to give recommendations regarding ownership and handling of aquatic turtles and other reptiles. As parents are often not aware of the risk of infection associated with the presence of turtles in the household, it would be appropriate to inform potential buyers at points of sale about the risk of infection and measures they can take to minimise this risk. .


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