The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that a multi-state outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria is linked to pet store puppies. An outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni has left 30 people sick across 13 states. Four people had to be hospitalized as a result of contracting the bacteria, with the patients ranging in age from eight months to 70 years old.
Public health officials interviewed the patients and found that 88% of them had direct contact with puppies purchased from a pet store. Twelve of the cases involved puppies bought at the national chain Petland and five of the patients worked for the store.
The symptoms of Campylobacter include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever and can last for up to one week. People who get sick usually recover without taking antibiotics.
The CDC advises people to wash their hands after playing with puppies and have them checked for the bacteria by their veterinarian. Dogs that have the bacteria may not show symptoms and can still pass it along to humans.
Petland issued a statement and said they had taken the recommended steps to prevent an outbreak.
“Petland takes the health and welfare of our employees, our customers, and our pets very seriously,” the company said. “Since an earlier outbreak in 2016, in which no specific source of infection was identified, Petland has implemented all recommended protocols from federal and state animal and public health officials to prevent human and puppy illness.”
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