Pet store puppies are at the center of the Centers for Disease Control investigation into a bacterial outbreak spreading across the United States.
At least 30 people across 13 states have been infected by a strain of Campylobacter jejuni, the CDC reports. Four of them have been sent to the hospital.
The bacteria is believed to be carried by pet store puppies, as 21 of the 24 infected maintained they had recent contact with small dogs. Fifteen said they had been to a pet store, and 12 of those said it was specifically a Petland store. Five were Petland employees.
“Laboratory evidence indicates that bacteria from ill people in this outbreak are closely related genetically to bacteria from ill people in the 2016–2018 outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections linked to pet store puppies,” the CDC’s alert states. “Campylobacter bacteria isolated from clinical samples from ill people in this outbreak are resistant to commonly recommended, first-line antibiotics.”
States in which the disease has been confirmed include:
- South Carolina
While most of the states on the list have seen only one or two confirmed cases, FOX8 reports, Ohio has seen 5.
The CDC states that more than 1.5 million Campylobacter bacteria infections a year go untreated or misdiagnosed as something else. The most common symptoms a Campylobacter infection are diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
The CDC’s advice to those who come in contact with dogs, their food, or their waste, is to wash your hands thoroughly. The CDC also recommends supervising any children while they play around dogs, and keeping the animals from licking faces or broken skin.
If you are concerned about being infected with the Campylobacter bacteria, contact your doctor.
Learn more about the Campylobacter bacteria 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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