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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people to not get too close to pet turtles due to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning across the country.

As of Friday, two of the 26 people reported infected have been sickened in Ohio, the CDC reported. Overall, 11 people have been hospitalized.

The CDC said that turtles of any size can transfer the bacteria to humans, but that turtles with shells smaller than 4 inches are more likely to do so, which is why those tinier reptiles are illegal to be sold as pets. People who have turtles are reminded to not eat around it and to wash their hands before touching and cleaning the pet. Also, the CDC says pet owners should refrain from snuggling or kissing their turtles.

The CDC warned that turtles of any size can spread salmonella infections “even if they look healthy and clean.” (Courtesy Getty Images)

Those with compromised immune systems are not advised to have a turtle in their home.

Symptoms of severe salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, high fever and vomiting, none of which subsides after a few days. Those who believe they may be sick should reach out to their doctor or head to the hospital.

Find out more about the infections right here.