Sorry Donatello Fans, It Looks Like Turtles Can Spread Cholera

By Dave Meikleham on at

What a shitty week to be a turtle. According to a new journal published in the American Society of Microbiology, soft-shelled turtles can spread cholera.

Image: Turtle Survival Alliance 

As reported by The Verge, Researchers discovered this alarming fact through somewhat unconventional means: they dipped said turtles in a glowing solution that contained the disease.

Over the course of four days scientists checked the reptiles looking for any changes in colour, and by the fourth day, the animals' upper shells were growing, indicating cholera had spread throughout the turtles' bodies. They were subsequently euthanized three days later, and upon dissection, it was discovered the disease had spread to the creatures' intestines.

This is especially bad news in China, were soft-shelled turtles are considered a delicacy. Cholera is still very much a worldwide issue, with the World Health Organisation reporting almost 200,000 new cases of the disease since 2014.