30 People Infected With Drug-Resistant Disease Linked To Contact With Pet Store Puppies

Dec 17, 2019, 5:25 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm
FILE: A view of the puppies at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/...
FILE: A view of the puppies at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials with the Centers for Disease Control said 30 people have been infected with a multidrug-resistant disease linked to contact with puppies purchased from pet stores.

Thirteen states, including Utah, have reported cases of people infected with the drug-resistant strand, Campylobacter jejuni, and four people have been hospitalized. No deaths had been reported by CDC officials and eight additional people had diagnostic tests showing they were infected, but they were not included in the report because no bacterial samples were available.

Symptoms of a campylobacter infection include fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea (often bloody) two-to-five days after being exposed.

Three people in Utah had been infected with the jejuni strand, according to the CDC’s report. Minnesota had the highest number of ill people with six while Ohio had reported five cases.

Nevada had four reported cases and one Wyoming person was infected.

Map of reported cases. (CDC)

Officials said the illness usually lasts one week and most people infected with campylobacter recover without the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics can be needed to treat some infections and for those who have severely weakened immune systems, are very ill or are at high-risk for severe disease.

CDC officials said they interviewed 24 people and 21 of them reported contact with a puppy.

Fifteen of those 21 people reported contact with a pet store puppy with 12 reporting contact at a Petland location.

The national pet store chain does not have any locations in Utah and the two closest locations to the Beehive State are in the greater Las Vegas area.

Five of the 12 people who reported contact at a Petland location were store employees, according to the CDC’s report.

Advice For Pet Owners

The CDC said to always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching your puppy or dog, handling their food and after cleaning up after them.

Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not immediately available.

Officials also said do not let dogs lick around your mouth or face or areas with broken skin.

Within a few days of getting a new dog, take it to a veterinarian for a health check-up and clean any pee, poop or vomit from a dog immediately and disinfect areas using a water and bleach solution.

Officials said an investigation is ongoing and updates will be provided when more information becomes available.

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30 People Infected With Drug-Resistant Disease Linked To Contact With Pet Store Puppies