People Picking Up Infection From Pet Store Puppies' Poop: CDC

From Drugs.com - September 11, 2017

People Picking Up Infection From Pet Store Puppies' Poop: CDC

MONDAY, Sept. 11, 2017 -- Bacterial infections that have sickened 39 people in seven states have been linked to puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain, U.S. health officials say.

Campylobacter infections have been reported between September 2016 and August 2017 in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

"Evidence suggests that puppies sold through Petland are a likely source of this outbreak," according to a CDC news release. "Petland is cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address this outbreak."

Campylobacter is a bacteria that causes people to develop diarrhea (sometimes bloody), cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days of exposure to the organism, said Dr. Sophia Jan, director of general pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center, in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

This is a common cause of diarrhea in the United States, she said.

"The illness typically lasts about a week without treatment," Jan said. But for people with compromised immune systems, campylobacter infections can be life threatening, she added.

Most cases in humans occur from eating raw or undercooked chicken, or eating foods that have been cross contaminated by infected poultry products, Jan noted.

However, humans can get infected from contact with the stool of an infected puppy, she added.


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