The first cluster of illnesses was reported in Ohio on August 12, 2017, and several additional clusters have been identified in other states.
Investigators immediately identified a link between the illnesses and Petland puppies. Of the 39 people who fell ill, 12 were Petland employees in 4 states. All of the other 27 victims either recently got a puppy at Petland or visited the home or someone who got a puppy.
As of September 11, 2017, the outbreak has sickened 39 people in the states of Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. At least 9 of the victims were hospitalized.
Campylobacter bacteria is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illnesses. Outbreaks are not normally linked to puppies, but Campylobacter frequently causes food poisoning outbreaks.
The symptoms of Campylobacter infections include fever, vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody), nausea, abdominal pain, and cramps for 2-5 days after exposure, with symptoms lasting 7-10 days.
Pet owners should thoroughly wash their hands after handling puppies. Anyone who got a puppy at Petland should carefully dispose of its feces, especially in areas where children may be exposed, and contact a veterinarian if the puppy is showing signs of illness.
The signs of illness in puppies include appearing sluggish, not eating, diarrhea, and abnormal breathing. Keep in mind that even a dog that appears healthy might spread germs to people and other animals.