Puppies sold at Petland linked to multi-state Campylobacter outbreak

Puppies sold at Petland linked to multi-state Campylobacter outbreak

Almost 40 people were infected by puppies carrying a common germ, and nine of those individuals had to be hospitalized. There have been nine hospitalizations and no deaths reported.

Epidemiologic and laboratory findings have linked the outbreak to contact with puppies sold through Petland stores.

As of September 11, 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.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on campylobacter. "Petland is cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address this outbreak".

Last year, the CDC reported that cats, and particularly kittens were increasingly spreading the second-most common disease given to people by their cats: the infamous 'cat-scratch fever'.

Kunzelman emailed a statement saying that the questionnaire the CDC used to trace the cases "was not consistent and didn't ask the same questions related to type of food the dogs ate or contact with other dogs". Along with the 18 cases in OH, the CDC reports 11 cases were found in Florida, 5 in Kansas, 2 in Pennsylvania, and one case each in Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

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Ill people range in age from 1 year to 64 years, with a median age of 22 years; 28 (72%) are female; and 9 (23%) report being hospitalized. Petland is also collaborating with the CDC in the investigation.

Campylobacter spreads through contact with a dog's feces but rarely spreads from person to person.

Symptoms of Campylobacter usually begin within two to five days of exposure to the bacteria and include diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. The federal health agency says that some cases go undiagnosed, but an estimated 1.3 million people get the disease each year in the U.S. The 2009 investigation also revealed Petland also bought the dogs through brokers who worked as middlemen between the retail stores and those facilities.

Puppies exposed to campylobacter can spread it to new owners that take them home and shower them with affection.

Pregnant women, people over 65 and young children are most susceptible.

"Pick a puppy or dog that is bright, alert, and playful", recommends the CDC.

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