CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Small turtles have reportedly made some people sick in South Carolina and several other states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has investigated four multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to small turtles.
Most of the those who became sick were children 5 years old or younger.
According to the CDC, 133 people have gotten sick in 26 states since early 2015.
Experts say the outbreak may continue for the next several months since people may not know that small turtles can carry Salmonella bacteria.
To avoid getting sick, the CDC is advising people not to buy turtles with a shell length of less than four inches, and to keep turtles out of homes with young children.
They also recommend turtles and other reptiles not be kept in child care centers or schools.
Releasing unwanted turtles into the wild is not recommended. Authorities say check with pet stores or veterinarians about the best options if you want to give up a pet turtle.