According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, puppies may be making people sick.
The CDC reports an outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni in 30 states, and 30 people have been infected.
While no deaths have been reports, hospitals have hospitalized four, the CDC says.
“Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that puppies purchased from pet stores are the likely source of this outbreak. Many of the cases had contact with puppies or were employees at pet stores, including Petland,” it said.
At the moment, the CDC has not identified the supplier of puppies causing the outbreak. That said, the CDC says, “Laboratory evidence indicates that bacteria from ill people in this outbreak are closely related genetically to bacteria from ill people in the 2016–2018 outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections linked to pet store puppies.”
Reports of the disease were reported in early January 2019 and people infected with the illness have ranged from 70 years old to as young as 8 months old.
Symptoms for Campylobacter jejuni:
Campylobacter jejuni symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever and usually last for about a week. The good news is most people usually recover without antibiotics.
To avoid getting sick, the CDC suggests washing your hands making sure you take any new dogs to the vet for a health check-up. Pet owners should also not let dogs lick your mouth, face, and open.
What to look out for when picking a puppy:
CDC recommends choosing a puppy that is “bright, alert, and playful”. Signs of illness include not eating, diarrhea, and breathing abnormally.