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CDC Links Puppies Sold at Petland to Multi-State Infection

Puppies sold through Petland stores have sickened people in seven states, including Wisconsin, Missouri and Ohio, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.

The multistate outbreak of human Campylobacter infections was linked to contact with puppies sold through the stores, the CDC said, and is under investigation by several agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

“Investigators are looking for the source of infections in people and puppies so they can recommend how to stop the outbreak and prevent more illnesses in order to protect human and animal health,” the CDC said in a statement. 

As of Monday, the outbreak included 39 cases in seven states: Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Illnesses began between Sept. 15, 2016, and August 12, 2017, the CDC says. The most recent illness was reported on Sept. 1, according to the CDC.

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Petland, which the CDC said is closely cooperating with the investigation, stressed that puppies and dogs can carry these germs no matter where they are from and noted Monday that the CDC advised the company last week to “continue to do what we are already doing.”

“The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland’s operating system that would lead to any Campylobacter infection,” Petland spokeswoman Elizabeth Kunzelman said in a statement. “Petland reinforces proper hand sanitization before and after playing with any of our puppies with the many sanitation stations in each store and has strict kennel sanitation procedures and protocols put in place by consulting veterinarians.”

Among the 39 cases, 12 are Petland employees from four states, according to the CDC, 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.”

Petland noted each of the 39 people completed different questionnaires and though one commonality was they visited a Petland store, “the questionnaires were not consistent and didn’t ask the same questions related to type of food the dogs ate or other contact with dogs.”

Symptoms, which usually last about a week, include diarrhea that is often bloody, fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. People with weakened immune systems, as well as children under 5, adults 65 and older and pregnant women, are more likely to get a severe infection.

Ohio has the highest number of cases at 18. Florida has 11, and Kansas has five. The other states have at least one. 

Ages of those affected range from less than a year to 64 years old. Nine reported being hospitalized  Of the cases, 28 are female.

The CDC also noted that any puppies and dogs can carry these germs no matter where they are from and encourage potential pet owners to follow these steps when choosing an animal.

Published 2 hours ago

Published in: Local News

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