Utah one of 13 states where dangerous bacteria from pet store puppies has spread to humans

An antibiotic-resistant germ outbreak spread by puppies at pet stores in 13 states has sickened 30 and landed four people in the hospital. Photo by Free-Photos/Pixabay

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 18, 2019 (Gephardt Daily/UPI) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Utah is one of the 13 states where a dangerous infection found in pet store puppies has spread to human beings.

Puppies in pet stores appear to have transmitted a dangerous, antibiotic-resistant germ that’s sickened 30 people across the 13 states, the CDC said in a statement.

The infection in question is a drug resistant form of Campylobacter jejuni, the agency said. So far, of 24 patients interviewed by the CDC, 21 said they had recently touched a puppy.

Illnesses have been reported, from east to west, in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. Three people have been sickened in Utah, the statement said.

Four people have been hospitalized across the U.S. the statement said, although no deaths have been reported. “Interviews with ill people and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with puppies, especially those from pet stores, is the source of this outbreak,” the statement said.

There’s so far been no single supplier of puppies linked to the outbreak of the illness, although in 12 of 15 cases where people reported contact with a puppy at a pet store, that contact happened at one of the Petland chain of pet stores, the CDC said.

“Campylobacterbacteria can spread to people through contact with poop of infected animals and contaminated food or water,” the statement said. Infection can be serious, involving diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps that begin two to five days after getting exposed to the germ. Most people do recover though, even without antibiotics.

“Puppies and dogs can carry Campylobactergerms that can make people sick, even while appearing healthy and clean,” the statement said. “People who own, work with or come in contact with puppies or dogs should take steps to stay healthy.”

That means washing your hands well after touching puppies or dogs, their food or after you’ve cleaned up after the animals, the agency said.

The CDC notes that the strain of Campylobacter in this outbreak appears to be related to a strain that caused a similar outbreak of puppy-related human illness in 2016.

“The investigation is ongoing,” the statement said. “CDC will provide updates when more information is available.”

For more information from the CDC click here.


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