Outbreak Linked to Pet Store Puppies
A recent outbreak of a bacterial infection called Campylobacter – which as of yesterday, had affected 39 people, nine of whom required hospitalization – has been traced to puppies sold in seven states by the national pet store chain Petland, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Campylobacter is common in dogs and in puppies and can be spread through animal feces. The infection usually is not transmitted from person to person. According to the CDC, this current outbreak began in September 2016 and involves people from seven states – Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin – who were exposed to puppies sold through the pet store chain. Twelve people infected are Petland employees from 4 states, and 27 either recently purchased a puppy at the store, visited a store, or visited or live in a home with a puppy purchased from Petland before becoming ill. Symptoms of Campylobacter infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, and pain.
Petland is cooperating with public health officials to address this outbreak. To prevent infection, wash your hands thoroughly with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds every time you touch a dog or puppy, their food or chew toy, or clean up after them.