I wanted to inform you about a new rule involving amphibians at school: frogs, lizards, and turtles. Students are no longer able to handle these creatures at school due to the risk of contracting and spreading germs and diseases. That being said, bringing one in a container is also prohibited. Please note that this is not a rule based on a recent case or outbreak. Instead, we are taking preventative steps with this rule to ensure this doesn't happen. Below is information provided by the CDC about the spreading of salmonella via these amphibians.
Many people think that Salmonella infections are caused only by contaminated food, but you can also get infected by handling turtles, lizards, frogs or anything in their environment, such as aquariums and food dishes. Salmonella germs in reptile and amphibian droppings (feces) can contaminate anything they contact.
More than 125 people have become sick in several ongoing, nationwide Salmonella outbreaks linked to small turtles. Most patients are children younger than 5 years. From 2006 to 2014, CDC investigated 15 multi-state Salmonella outbreaks linked to turtles; 921 people were sickened, 156 were hospitalized, and an infant died. These illnesses and outbreaks are why CDC recommends that turtles and other reptiles are not kept as pets in households with young children
Again, because this is a risk, we are enforcing a rule to ensure this does not happen with our kids. We have been blessed thus far in that our children have been protected from infection. Please talk with your children about this at home, as it is also being reinforced at school.
Here is the link to the website if you would like to explore this more: http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellafrogturtle/