CDC Tells Americans To Start Masking, Stop Kissing Turtles

(Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
August 24, 2023

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the last week has told Americans to start wearing masks again and stop kissing their pet turtles.

As of Thursday, approximately 10 million Americans live in areas where the CDC deems the level of COVID-19 cases to be at "medium." The agency recommends that those living in such areas wear masks indoors. The CDC has also linked a salmonella outbreak occurring across 11 states to small turtles, and it is recommending Americans distance themselves from such reptiles if they have them as pets.

"Don’t kiss or snuggle your turtle, and don’t eat or drink around it," the agency said in a notice published Aug. 18. "This can spread Salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick." Twenty-six people have become sick in the outbreak, 9 of whom needed hospitalization.

The CDC has a record of issuing recommendations, many of which concern pets, that many Americans may consider superfluous.

For households that have children under five, the agency recommends that parents not allow them to "kiss pets or put their hands or other objects in their mouths after handling animals." It also tells parents, "Don’t give chicks and ducklings to young children as gifts."

The agency's guidelines also call for cooking temperatures that many would consider overcooked. The agency warns against eating whole cuts of beef cooked under 145 degrees Fahrenheit. A steak cooked medium-rare is between 130 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The CDC also says Americans should "cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm."

Published under: CDC