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CDC: 30 people sickened by infection linked to pet store puppies; 5 Ohio cases reported

Health officials believe contact with puppies, especially those from pet stores, is the likely source of an infection outbreak in humans.
(Getty Images/Stockphoto)

The Centers for Disease Control announced Tuesday it is investigating a multi-state outbreak of a multi-drug resistant infection linked to contact with pet store puppies.

The CDC said 30 people have been infected so far in 13 states with the outbreak strain of Campylobacter jejuni.

Health officials have been able to identify contact with puppies, especially those from pet stores, as the likely source of this outbreak.

Among the 24 infected people who were interviewed, 21 reported having contact with a puppy and 15 of those said the puppy they had contact with was from a pet store.

Additionally, the CDC noted that 12 of those 15 individuals were linked to Petland, a national pet store chain.

As of Dec. 17, confirmed cases have been reported in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.

While most states only have one or two cases, Minnesota residents accounted for six and there were five Ohio residents infected.

Lab evidence indicates the bacteria from this outbreak is closely related to bacteria to a similar 2016-2018 outbreak linked to pet store puppies. In Jan. 2018, the CDC declared that outbreak was over after it infected 113 people.

Pet owners should take steps to stay healthy around their pet including washing your hands after touching your puppy, after handling their food, and after cleaning up after them.

According to the CDC, Campylobacter infections affect more than 1.5 million people every year but many cases go undiagnosed or unreported. It is also one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the U.S. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps

The CDC noted that while people with Campylobacter infection usually recover on their own, some need antibiotic treatment.

As of Tuesday, a single, common supplier of puppies has not been identified.