Petland Puppies Source Of Bacterial Infection Of 39 People, CDC Says

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With cold and flu season on its way, many Americans have been preparing for the annoying symptoms of watery eyes, stuffy noses, and sore throats that can last up to 14 days. However, the last thing 39 people expected to come down with this year was a bacterial infection from puppies.

Yes, you have to be afraid of puppies now, too.

According to the CDC, a group of puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain, has been found as the source for an outbreak of Campylobacter. The bacteria has since infected 39 people in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

The highest number of those infected with the illness was found in Ohio and the second highest in Florida. The most recent report of the illness was made on September 1. The CDC reports that 72% of those who have been infected are female and the median age of the 39 infected persons is 22 years.

Symptoms of the gastrointestinal illness include fever, cramping, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms appear within two to five days of infection and the illness can last up to seven days. While no deaths have been reported, the illness can be especially dangerous for those who are pregnant or who have a weakened immune system.

The outbreak began with contact with the puppies’ feces since the illness doesn’t typically spread from human contact. The CDC warns that Campylobacter can spread from any puppy or dog’s feces regardless of where the dog has come from.

Those who come into contact with dogs and their feces are recommended to wash their hands thoroughly. Should your dog show any kind of illness, it’s essential that you relay the information to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

“Petland reinforced proper hand sanitization before and after playing with any of our puppies with the many sanitation stations in each store,” Petland said in a statement, “and has strict kennel sanitation procedures and protocols put in place by consulting veterinarians.”

The CDC found no abnormalities in Petland’s sanitation, protocols, or procedures. The 39 affected by the illness included 12 Petland employees across four states. Nine of those who have been infected with the illness have been hospitalized.

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