The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, issued an outbreak advisory yesterday, warning hopeful pet owners about a year-long, multi-state outbreak of human Campylobacter infections that investigators have now linked to puppies sold through a national chain of pet stores.
As of yesterday, 39 people have been confirmed to be infected with the bacterium. At least 12 of those who were sickened are Petland employees. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence implicates puppies sold through Petland stores in 4 states as the likely source of this pathogen.
The CDC says that Petland is cooperating with health officials in the investigation.
To date, 39 people in 7 states have been affected. Of those, 9 were sickened severely enough to require hospitalization. So far, no one has died but babies younger than 1 year old are among the apparent victims. There are, said the agency, more people and dogs being tested.
If investigators know how many Petland dogs could be carrying this potentially deadly bacteria, they are not saying so. The breeder (or breeders) was not identified.
The list of states in which victims have been confirmed includes:
Most of the cases–18–occurred in Ohio. Another 11 are in Florida. All 27 of the victims who were not employees of Petland either bought a puppy from Petland or played with a puppy from Petland prior to becoming ill.
Along with some handy tips for pet owners and pet store employees, the CDC slipped in this bombshell. This outbreak is not new–the first cases actually go back a year to September 2016.