Small turtles have caused a rash of illnesses in the United States over the past two years, accounting for at least 347 Salmonella illnesses since May of 2011, according to federal health officials. That figure, reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday, marks an increase from the 248 cases linked to…

A series of 6 Salmonella outbreaks linked to contact with small turtles is now affecting 168 people from 30 states. That’s up from the 149 illnesses reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its last update July 3. The 19 new cases have been connected with 4 of the 6 outbreak strains…

Public health officials are currently investigating three multistate outbreaks of Salmonella linked to baby turtles.

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Since September of last year, at least 66 people in 16 states have been sickened by three strains of Salmonella: Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona and Salmonella Poona, all thought to be carried by small turtles.

These reptiles, whose shells are …