Turtles are super cute, and a lot of people think of having them as family pets because children love them as much as adults do. However, are pet turtles safe for people and families? Or are they best avoided? Unfortunately, like many reptiles such as lizards, snakes, and yes, turtles, they do pose a real risk to people who have lowered immune systems. In fact, they are such a risk, that the FDA has warned against people owning turtles as pets if they are at any higher risk than others.
Turtles and other reptiles often carry salmonella, which is life-threatening to some people. Anyone can get salmonella, and become very poorly. However, young children and infants, the elderly, and others with lowered immune systems such as pregnant women, cancer sufferers, and people with diabetes are at huge risks of hospitalization from salmonella caught from turtles. The primary issue is that turtles don’t look sick. Furthermore, there are no signs that they carry it. Therefore, anywhere the turtle goes can become contaminated and become dangerous. So yes, turtles are dangerous to some people. Be aware.