Petland pet store has been in the midst of a nationwide scandal due to a disease linked to puppies sold by the chain. So far 55 people have been reported as sick and 13 were hospitalized. The numbers were released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
More on the outbreak
The disease started to spread in September from seven to twelve states. Cases of campylobacter have been reported in Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The infection can cause vomiting, fever and bloody diarrhea and most cases are associated with eating raw and undercooked meat.
According to Mark Laughlin, CDC veterinarian, the campylobacter strain is very resistant to antibiotics. However, most people do not need antibiotics and can recover without being hospitalized. It is mostly dangerous for seniors over 65 or children under 5, who need additional treatment.
Lab results confirmed the bacteria
According to lab results, puppies sold at Petland in Ohio are the original source of the outbreak. This was discovered after 35 people who purchased a puppy from that particular store or visited a home with a puppy from there were diagnosed with the disease. The fact that fourteen of the people who got sick are Petland employees is also considered evidence.
Infected animals can spread the disease even if they do not show symptoms and people can get sick while touching the dog’s fur, food bowl or feces.
Petland has provided CDC will all trace backs for all puppies purchased and they are trying to educate people to wash their hands. The CDC has released a statement in which their estimate of people infected with the campylobacter bacterium is of 1.3 million cases annually and two thirds are food borne.