Bad Petland – CDC blames pet store dogs for 12 state diarrhea outbreak

Centers for Disease Control released a statement this week that says baby dogs are to blame for a multi-state outbreak of Campylobacter, a bacterium that causes diarrhea and fever in humans. A total of 55 people have now succumbed to … let’s just call it puppy fever, 13 of whom have been hospitalized. The common thread seems to be Petland, a chain of pet stores that seems to be selling infected puppies.

As of October 3, a total of 55 people with laboratory-confirmed infections or symptoms consistent with Campylobacter infection who live in 12 states (Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) have been linked to this outbreak.

* 14 people are Petland employees from 5 states.
* 35 people 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.
* 1 person had sexual contact with a person with a confirmed illness linked to Petland.
* 4 people were exposed to puppies from various sources.
* 1 person had unknown puppy exposure.

Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 86 years, with a median age of 23 years; 38 (69%) are female; and 13 (24%) report being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that puppies sold through Petland stores are a likely source of this outbreak.

Follow these steps to prevent the spreading of disease between people and puppies and dogs:

* Wash your hands thoroughly with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds every time you touch dogs, their food, or clean up after them. Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.
* If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands with soap and water.
* Pick up and dispose of dog poop, especially in areas where children might play. Use disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
* Clean up any pee (urine), poop (stool), or vomit in the house immediately, and disinfect the area. Use disposable gloves to handle anything that has touched pee, poop, or vomit, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
* Take your dog to the veterinarian regularly to keep it healthy and to help prevent the spread of disease.
* Don’t let pets lick around your mouth and face.
* Don’t let pets lick your open wound or areas with broken skin.