Puppies to blame for drug-resistant infection in 118 people

From January 2017 through February 2018, puppies sold at six pet store companies led to infections in 118 people in 18 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

The cause of illness: Campylobacter, common bacteria that can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever, according to the CDC outbreak report published as part of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

No deaths occurred, though 26 people were hospitalized. Samples of the bacteria from patients showed resistance to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections, including macrolides and quinolones, according to the CDC.

Most patients will recover from a Campylobacter infection within five days without treatment, though drinking extra fluids is recommended. In rare cases, an infection can lead to complications, including paralysis and even death. People with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and those with cancer or other severe illnesses, are most at risk of serious infection.

Sanitation and handling

The investigation began in August 2017, when the Florida Department of Health notified the CDC of six Campylobacter infections linked to a national pet store chain based in Ohio. Information from an examination of data prompted a multistate investigation to identify the source of outbreak and to prevent additional illness.

The CDC identified 118 people, including 29 store employees, who became ill between January 5, 2016, and February 4, 2018. Patients ranged in age from younger than 1 year old to 85, and most (63%) were female. States reporting illness were Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Healthy Animals  

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