Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Bacterial infection outbreak traced back to puppies at national pet store chain

Puppies from Petland chain sicken 39 Pet-Store Puppies Linked To Campylobacter Outbreak In People
Ben Pena | 14 September, 2017, 00:27

At least nine people have been hospitalized.

The CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of campylobacter infections linked to contact with puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain. So far, five cases in Kansas have been reported.

We don't usually think of adorable puppies as disease vectors, but they might actually be making people sick.

The CDC says puppies sold at Petland, an national chain of pet stores, are the likely source of the outbreak, but it's still under investigation.

All of the infected patients were exposed to the puppies in Petland stores. Petland is cooperating with the investigation, the government agency said. "These 39 people completed several different questionnaires and one commonality was that they had visited a Petland store in the past week or worked there", Petland's statement read. Finally, you need to contact your veterinarian if you see signs of illness in your puppy or dog. In a statement, the company writes, "The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland's operating system that would lead to any Campylobacter infection". Shelley Rankin, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, says that the biggest risk factor is that they're puppies. Most infections are singular and not part of an outbreak.

The infection is common in dogs and can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, their poop, or food, but isn't normally transmitted from one human to another. About 47 percent of raw chicken samples tested in 2011 were positive for Campylobacter, according to the CDC.

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How does human Campylobacter infection spread?

The symptoms typically appear two to five days after the contact with bacteria and can last around a week.

In a press release, Petland says the 39 cases of Campylobacter linked to their puppies make up only a small portion of the 1.3 million cases of the infection reported in the United States each year.

For every 100,000 people, 14 cases of Campylobacter infection are diagnosed each year.

"According to the CDC, almost 1.3 million people in the United States are affected each year by Campylobacter", Petland said in a news release. The best way to of avoid being contaminated with the bacteria is through proper hand washing. That's why washing your hands after cleaning up after your pet is so important.

The CDC also recommends quickly disposing of dog poop using disposable gloves, as well as regular visits to the veterinarian to keep your dog healthy.

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