An outbreak likely linked to Petland puppies is concentrated in Ohio.
The outbreak of the Campylobacter infection, which can spread to people from puppies and dogs, has been linked to 39 people reported sick including nine hospitalizations, though no deaths have been reported, according to the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control. Some people may show no signs of infection while others might have symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or a fever.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the counties of residents of the people with confirmed cases are primarily from Franklin County, which has nine cases.
There are also four cases from residents of Fairfield County, two from Delaware, and one each in Athens, Lawrence and Ross counties.
The people’s ages range from 10 months old to 54 years old, and three of them have been hospitalized. The cases are from Sept. 15, 2016, to June 30, 2017.
With most of the infections reported in Ohio, here’s three things to know:
1. There have been 18 cases reported in Ohio.
That’s the most in one state. Other states with infections reported are in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Out of the 39 people with confirmed cases, 12 are Petland employees from four states and 27 either recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or live in a home with a puppy sold through Petland before illness began. The CDC said overall that any more cases of Campylobacter infections go undiagnosed or unreported, and campylobacteriosis is estimated to affect more than 1.3 million people every year.
2. Petland said the CDC has not found any failures with the national chain’s operating system that would lead to an campylobacter infection.
Petland said in a statement that “The CDC stated that ‘regardless of where they came from, any puppy and dog’ can carry the germ. However, Petland is the only national source of puppies that can trace a puppy from its new owner back to its original kennel. Petland is proud of our commitment to quality controls and record keeping and we are happy to help the CDC in this new endeavor.”
3. The infection spreads to humans through contact with infected puppy poop.
CDC advises people wash their hands thoroughly after touching dogs, their poop, or their food; take extra care that children playing with the puppies also wash their hands carefully; pick up and dispose of dog poop, especially in areas where children might play and contact pet owners should contact their veterinarian if they notice any signs of illness in their puppy or dog.
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