Salmonella is a bacterium that attacks the intestines of both pets and humans. An infection can be likened to that of an incidence of food poisoning. Under normal circumstances, the body can ward off an attack. The person with salmonella will feel a few cramps and experience some mild diarrhea. However, in the case of the very young, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems, salmonella can be life-threatening or even fatal. In these cases, the sufferer will experience abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fever, and headache.
The pets that might pass salmonella onto their owners are reptiles, rodents, and amphibians. Juvenile turtles are constantly shedding salmonella which is why they should not be kept as pets. Washing their hands after handling such pets should be part of these pet owners’ routines. Pets should never be placed in the sink or in any place where food handling may take place.