Las Vegas (KVVU)-- The Centers for Disease Control says at least 149 people have been infected with salmonella across the country.

Six multi-state outbreaks are being linked to small turtles.

Ken Foose owns "exotic pets."

All kinds of animals are for sale, but turtles are the most popular reptile.

"To locals I'd say 100-150 turtles a week is not out of the question," says Foose.

The Health District says six people in Clark County, including five kids, got salmonellosis from handling turtles under four inches in diameter.

Foose doesn't sell baby turtles.

He says it's against federal law - unless it's for educational purposes.

But you can easily find them for sale at other vendors, who don't teach proper care.

"Unfortunately it's that mentality, it's the fast buck. They sell the turtle and plastic box for ten dollars, people go "oh how cute" but they're uniformed they're uneducated about what they're buying," says Foose.

Salmonella can lurk on the reptiles and in their homes.

Foose says it doesn't matter what size the animal is or what kind.

One turtle owner we spoke with agrees it comes down to common sense.

"You need to wash your hands after a door knob, so it's not just the animals it's everything," says Bret Robello.

The health district urges reptile owners to keep them out of food areas like kitchens and off tables. Don't clean their homes in your sink or bathtub.

And always wash your hands after touching the animal or their home.

Health officials also recommend families with children under the age of five shouldn't own reptiles or amphibians.

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