Thirty-nine people in the US contracted an infection called Campylobacter from puppies this year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in an outbreak notice on Monday.
Twelve employees of Petland stores were infected, and 27 customers who had recently purchased puppies took home more than just a new family member from the pet store chain.
Cases of the infection have been reported in seven states: Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
The infection is common in dogs and can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, their poop, or food, but isn’t normally transmitted from one human to another.
Cute pups can still carry Campylobacter: Thirty-nine Americans were contracted the infection in the last year, according to the CDC (file image)
Campylobacter can cause diarrhea, vomiting and fever in dogs, but symptoms aren’t always apparent or obvious. Humans suffer similar symptoms, as well as cramping, nausea and bloody stool.
Coping with Campylobacter
The CDC has advised pet owners to take particular care to clean up after their dogs and wash their hands thoroughly. The notice also suggests animal lovers turn down puppy kisses, and keep them from licking open wounds.
Catching Campylobacter: symptoms to watch for
Puppies and people may have:
- Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
Though unpleasant, the infection usually runs its course without antibiotics, though they are used to treat some cases. The most important thing to coping with a Campylobacter infection is to stay hydrated.
The CDC said that its investigation into the outbreak’s origin is ongoing, and that Petland is cooperating.
Know your animal ailments
Campylobacter is the most common illness that humans contract from both dogs and cats, according to the CDC. People also frequently get various types of worms and rabies from their dogs, and cats can come with trouble too.
Last year, the CDC reported that cats, and particularly kittens were increasingly spreading the second-most common disease given to people by their cats: the infamous ‘cat-scratch fever.’
The disease comes from a bacteria in cats’ mouths and claws, called Bartonella henselae. It doesn’t cause any health problems for the infected felines, but can cause lymph node swelling, fever, and even brain swelling, heart infections and death in humans.
The Campylobacter outbreak notice reminded both pet store employees and pet owners that the best way to prevent the spread of pet-borne disaeases is to be vigilant in keeping animals, their food, water and living space clean.
Stay happy AND healthy with your pet
The CDC still stood by man’s best friend (and favorite felines): ‘The bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners,’ the notice said.
But the agency urged potential adopters to ‘pick a puppy or dog that is bright, alert, and playful,’ and to have a vet make sure the new family member has a clean bill of health.