Bringing home a new dog is a joy for most humans.
Bringing home an aggressive case of diarrhea is not.
A disease linked to pet store puppies has been leaving people quarantined in the bathroom a short time after returning home, new furry family member included or not. At least 100 cases of Campylobacteriosis have been reported in 18 different states since 2016, the Bark reports. Nearly all of them had recently visited a Petland pet store.
“In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and any animal contact in the week before they became ill,” the CDC reports. “Ninety-nine percent of people reported contact with a puppy in the week before illness started, and 87 percent reported they had contact with a puppy from Petland stores, or had contact with a person who became sick after contact with a puppy from a Petland store. Twenty-five ill people worked at Petland stores.”
Out of all those cases, 26 people had diarrhea so severe, they required hospitalization.
Six different pet stores were found to have puppies that carried the Campylobacter bacteria, which means they were likely infected before arriving there. Investigators traced the source of the outbreak further and found eight distributors and 25 different breeders were responsible for selling and shipping the infected puppies, though possibly unbeknownst to them.
In humans, Campylobacteriosis is typically treated with antibiotics. This outbreak has proven resistant to most every option, however.
“This multidrug-resistant outbreak highlights the need for responsible use of antibiotics in pets,” wrote the CDC. “Education about best practices for Campylobacter disease prevention, diarrhea management in puppies, and responsible antibiotic use is essential throughout the distribution chain to help prevent the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.”
According to American Veterinarian, recovery from a Campylobacter infection takes about a week without medical intervention. Those suffering from the disease will most commonly experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. In very serious cases, Campylobacteriosis can cause paralysis or death.
To avoid contracting the disease, the CDC advises people should always wash their hands with soap and water after touching a dog or puppy, or cleaning up their poop.
Learn more in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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