2 people from TN sick after contact with puppies at Petland — CDC

Leslie Hanson
October 6, 2017

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says dozens of people have been sickened with infections linked to puppies sold at Petland pet stores. "But an outbreak of human illnesses due to contact with dogs is quite unique".

Whole genome sequencing of samples of the campylobacter infection from Petland puppies was closely related to campylobacter samples taken from people sickened during the outbreak, said the CDC. Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have been linked to outbreak.

The bacteria causes diarrhea, cramping, fever and abdominal pain, the health agency said on its website, and is generally treatable with antibiotics, if needed, but this case is different.

It usually resolves on its own, but can cause severe and even fatal symptoms in those who are young, old or immuno-compromised. But the infection can be transferred to humans when you touch, feed or clean up after your pet. The infection has not killed anyone affected in the outbreak, the CDC said. Another 14 people are Petland employees.

Of the remaining five, four "were exposed to puppies from various sources" and one "had unknown puppy exposure".

Petland has "re-doubled" efforts on education regarding proper hand sanitation, the statement said.

Dr. Mark Laughlin, a veterinary medical officer at the CDC, told CBS News hand-washing is the best defense.

This particular strain appears to be antibiotic-resistant, according to CDC officials. "The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting".

The number of hospitalizations tied to the infection had also jumped from nine to 13, and it's proving hard to treat.

The investigation is ongoing.

The CDC said they are continuing to investigate and will provide updates as more information is available.

(Chillicothe, OH: Oct 3, 2017) - Each year almost 1.3 million Americans are infected with Campylobacter. The most recent illness was reported on September 1, 2017.

Kunzelman also pointed to CDC guidance that "Regardless of where they are from, any puppies and dogs may carry Campylobacter germs".

Take your new puppy or dog to the veterinarian for a health check-up within a few days to a week after adoption.

Nearly every patient recovers within five days without treatment, though drinking extra fluids is recommended. It is transmitted from feces to mouth.

Symptoms, which typically begin within two to five days of contact with the bacteria, last around a week, though some people don't experience any signs of illness.

Brenda Douglas, a Raymore resident who purchased an infected puppy from the Petland store in Overland Park in April, expressed disbelief when told that the antibiotic prescribed for her dog on September 23, erythromycin, was on a list of eight that the CDC said has not been effective in treating the Campylobacter strain found in the Petland outbreak.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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