On December 17, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement earlier this week, stating that puppies are responsible for causing a serious illness that has been spreading across the nation.
Health officials issued a warning that they have been investigating an outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni in multiple states.
Campylobacter jejuni is a type of food poisoning that is experienced by more than 1.5 million Americans every year and in this case, it has been linked to puppies that were purchased from pet stores. And the most concerning factor is that the infection is multi-drug resistant.
The CDC reported that the strain of Campylobacter jejuni has been seen in 13 states since January, affecting 30 people between the ages of 8 months to 70 years. So far, there have been four hospitalizations.
“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,” said the CDC.
The health agency interviewed 24 people infected by Campylobacter jejuni so far, of which 21 reported contact with puppies, and among them, 15 reported contact with puppies from a pet store.
The CDC said it is unclear from where the infection-spreading puppies have been originated, as the officials are yet to identify the source of the supplier or breeder.
However, last week, Petland pointed out that over “a third of the cases were reported in 13 states where there are no Petland stores.” In addition, over 12 million people visit their stores every year. And the store estimates over 2.4 million customer socializations of Petland puppies during the time mentioned by the CDC. Therefore, the risk of getting infected from one of their puppies is quite slim.
Of course, the CDC is not encouraging you to stay away from puppies. Instead, they advise you to follow a few important tips to keep yourself healthy while enjoying with your puppies.
The CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly and using sanitizer after handling your puppy. Keep this simple preventive measure in mind if your puppies pee, poop, or vomit, and clean them up immediately by using a disinfectant.
The CDC points out that most cases of infections originated from puppies at pet stores so if you have a puppy who is not from a pet store, you are more likely to be clear. The officials also advise you to take your puppies to a vet as soon as possible if they show any signs of illness, such as a fever, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.