Puppies from pet store chain sicken 39 people in 7 states

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An investigation conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Inspection Service, has traced back the source of the outbreak to #puppies sold in a national pet store chain.

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. The following states have been affected by this outbreak: Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Five cases have been reported in Kansas so far.

The illnesses started from September 15, 2016 to August 12, 2017, with the most recent illness reported on September 1, 2017.

At least nine people have been hospitalized. Believe it or not, the source turned out to be puppies sold by a national pet store chain called Petland, Inc. Of the total, 27 either recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or live in a home with a puppy sold through Petland. "They've been fully cooperative with the investigation but it looks like some of these puppies have become infected with this bacteria and it's spread to other employees and caretakers, as well as people who have purchased these puppies from the store", he says. The infection presents more risks to people with weak immune systems such as people with cancer, elderly, and newborns.

The owner of the Topeka Petland, Stacy Williams, told 13 NEWS their store has not been affected by the outbreak. Petland says the CDC hasn't found any failures on the company's part that could lead to any infection. Petland is cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address this outbreak.

"Our extensive health warranty protects both our pets and our customers from bacterial, viral and congenital issues", she said. Rankin says that she's seen many outbreak investigations, and it can be hard to pin down the exact cause. The best way to of avoid being contaminated with the bacteria is through proper hand washing. Extra care is needed so that children playing with puppies also wash their hands carefully.

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. Finally, you need to contact your veterinarian if you see signs of illness in your puppy or dog.

Campylobactor can spread through dog feces and usually won't spread from one person to another.

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