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Puppies may be making people sick, CDC says

Puppies may be making people sick, CDC says
Posted at 6:36 AM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 06:36:40-05

Puppies: cute balls of fur.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they’re also linked to a multi-state outbreak of an infection that’s resistant to multiple drugs.

An outbreak strain of Campylobacter jejuni has been reported in 13 states and so far 30 people have been infected, the CDC said.

Four people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported, the center said.

“Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that puppies purchased from pet stores are the likely source of this outbreak. Many of the cases had contact with puppies or were employees at pet stores, including Petland,” it said.

Among 24 people interviewed,

  • 21 (88%) of the 24 people reported contact with a puppy.
  • 15 (71%) of these 21 people reported contact with a puppy from a pet store.
  • 12 (80%) of these 15 people were linked to Petland, a national pet store chain.
  • 5 (42%) of these 12 people were Petland employees.

The CDC has not yet identified one common supplier of puppies, it said.

Some of the illnesses date as far back as January 2019 and people who have been infected range from eight months to 70 years old.

The symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever and usually last for about a week. People usually recover without antibiotics, the CDC said.

Ways to avoid getting infected include washing your hands and making sure you take any new dogs to the vet for a checkup.

Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching your puppy or dog, after handling their food, and after cleaning up after them.

  • Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Wash your hands after cleaning up urine (pee), feces (poop), or vomit from your puppy or dog. Clean up any pee, poop, or vomit inside the house immediately. Then disinfect the area using a water and bleach solution.
  • Don’t let dogs lick around your mouth and face.
  • Don’t let dogs lick your open wound or areas with broken skin.
  • Take your dog to the veterinarian regularly to keep it healthy and to help prevent the spread of disease.