Petland Puppies Linked To Infection Outbreak In Several States — CDC

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Besides Utah, the other cases were reported in Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming. A list of the number of cases by state can be found on the Case Count Map page.

"Talk to your doctor if you think you have a Campylobacter infection and let them know if you recently purchased a puppy at a pet store, visited a pet store, or visited or live in a home with a puppy sold through a pet store before illness began", CDC public affairs specialist Brittany Behm wrote in an email. This is an increase from the 39 cases reported in seven states last month. So far 13 people have been hospitalized, but luckily no one has died.

Almost all of the the 55 people affected came into contact with puppies from Petland, a pet store chain based in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Also, 14 of the infected people are Petland employees.

Those made sick from the infection range from a child under one year of age, to an 86-year-old.

Of the remaining five, four "were exposed to puppies from various sources" and one "had unknown puppy exposure".

The infection can spread through contact with dog poop, though officials said it typically does not spread between people.

Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrhea illness in the USA, the CDC said.

"Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that puppies sold through Petland stores are a likely source of this outbreak", the CDC said in a news release. The diarrhea may be bloody.

The authors of a 2015 study on the bacteria in Swedish dogs wrote, "Presence of a puppy in the household has been identified as risk factor for campylobacteriosis, especially in young children".

Contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness in your puppy or dog.

Petland is cooperating with the CDC while the investigation continues.

He says Campylobacter infections are not uncommon, and that many people have no symptoms at all.

Take your new puppy or dog to the veterinarian for a health check-up within a few days to a week after adoption. The notice from the CDC also notes that this strain is resistant to some antibiotics, as is the case with other Campylobacter strains.

Petland has paid most of Zigg's medical bills and Kunzelman said the company agreed to give Douglas a $3,500 refund after she decided she wanted to return the dog.

After the latest CDC report, Petland said it has "re-doubled its efforts in educating staff and customers about proper hand sanitization".

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