Pet Store Puppies and Multidrug-resistant Campylobacter

(Dover, Ohio) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a notice of investigation into a multi-state outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections connected to contact with pet store puppies.

According to the CDC, as of December 17, 2019, a total of 30 people infected with Campylobacter have been reported from 13 states, one of which is Ohio.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 6, 2019, through November 10, 2019. Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrheal illness in the United States according to the CDC. Those infected develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps within five (5) days of being exposed; the illness lasts approximately one week and most recover without treatment. To prevent the spread of germs always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching your puppy or dog, after handling their food, and after cleaning up after them.

Typical symptoms in dogs may include watery to mucoid diarrhea, abdominal cramping or pain, lethargy, and fever. The diarrhea may last a week or more and often relapses suddenly after the dog appears to have recovered.

If your dog does become infected, the best prevention is good hygienic practices such as removing feces from your yard on a regular basis, cleaning any soiled areas in your house and laundering your dog’s bedding frequently. It is essential to ensure thorough hand washing after handling an infected dog. Discourage an infected dog from licking people’s faces, particularly those of young children.

If you have recently had contact with any pet store puppies and have developed diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, the Tuscarawas County Health Department asks that you contact your primary care physician to be tested for Campylobacter. For any additional questions regarding campylobacteria or this outbreak contact the Tuscarawas County Health Department at (330) 343-5555.

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