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Name: Sara
Status: Educator
Age: 5
Date: 10/2/2004

Do land turtles carry salmonella?

Good question!

Salmonella is very common in many cold-blooded animals, including turtles. This germ can be carried by both land and water turtles. Not all turtles have the bacteria, but they can carry Salmonella without getting sick. Fortunately, if you wash your hands well after handing a turtle or handling anything in a turtle's cage, you should be able to stay healthy.

Handwashing is a really good idea anytime you handle an animal. Plus frequent handwashing, even when there are no animals around, can help you keep from catching germs from other people. Scientists have found that if you wash your hands frequently when you are around other people, you will be less likely to catch colds!!!

Keep up the good science questions!

Laura Hungerford, DVM, MPH,
PhD University of Maryland

Click here to return to the Veterinary Topics Archive

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