Puppies Infect Humans With Bacterial Illness

Puppies from Petland chain sicken 39

Campylobacter can cause diarrhea, vomiting and fever in dogs, but symptoms aren't always apparent or obvious. The Centers for Disease Control says a new bacterial outbreak has sickened 39 people in seven states, including one in Missouri, all cases transmitted by puppies.

As of Monday, a total of 39 people have fallen ill in seven states, including 11 cases in Florida, five in Kansas, one in Missouri, 18 in OH, two in Pennsylvania, one in Tennessee and one in Wisconsin.

"Today the CDC posted an update of 39 cases of humans with Campylobacter".

Campylobacter is the most common illness that humans contract from both dogs and cats, according to the CDC. Previous outbreaks of Campylobacter infection were linked to contaminated water, poultry, produce and unpasteurized dairy products. Al of the cases are linked to puppies sold through the retail chain 'Petland.' Patients are either Petland employees or customers who recently visited a Petland or bought a puppy there. Of the patients, 18 lives in OH, 11 in Florida, five in Kansas, two in Pennsylvania, one in Missouri, one in Tennessee and one in Wisconsin. Nine were hospitalized, but the CDC says no deaths have been reported.

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Whole genome sequencing showed samples of Campylobacter isolated from the stool of puppies sold through Petland in Florida were closely related to Campylobacter isolated from the stool of an ill person in Ohio. In a typical case, symptoms last for about a week. Infected individuals can typically recover from the infection within a week, even without medical intervention. The infection presents more risks to people with weak immune systems such as people with cancer, elderly, and newborns. The CDC reports that more laboratory results regarding individuals and dogs are "pending". Due to this, CDC estimates that more than 1.3 million Americans acquire the infection every year.

To avoid contamination from your pet, CDC recommends you wash your hands thoroughly after touching dogs, their poop or their food.

Petland is cooperating with the CDC's investigation and stresses the importance of using hand sanitizer before and after handling one of their puppies.

"You actually could get it just from playing with the puppy, kissing the puppy, which we all love doing because puppies are cute", said Dr. Marcy Souza, a UT Public Health veterinarian.

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