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Petland Puppies Are Spreading a Bacterial Infection to Humans

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Bad news for puppies... and people. Puppies being sold at the national pet store chain Petland are spreading a serious bacterial infection that has affected 55 people in 12 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even worse? This bacterial infection is said to be resistant to antibiotics. Yikes!

A scary-sounding bacteria called Campylobacter is the one causing the infection, which can lead to unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Samples from both puppies and people affected by this bacteria show the infection might not respond well to the antibiotics usually prescribed in cases like these. Even scarier? Thirteen of the 55 people affected by the infection have reported being hospitalized as a result.

This particular infection can be spread by coming in contact with an infected puppy's poop, by engaging in sexual contact with an infected person, or by changing an infected person's diapers. So far, infections linked to puppies from Petland have been reported in Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

"Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that puppies sold through Petland stores are a likely source of this outbreak," the CDC said in a news release. "Petland is cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address this outbreak."

If you're worried that you may have come in contact with an infected dog or simply want to protect yourself from an infection of this nature, read up on CDC's advice to pet owners regarding how to recognize and prevent a Campylobacter bacteria infection. Tips include washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after you touch dogs, using disposable gloves while disposing of dog poop and then washing your hands thoroughly afterward, and not allowing dogs to lick you around your mouth and face.

Stay safe!

h/t Country Living

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