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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why and How People Are Getting Puppy Poop Infections

African American child holding puppy

Puppies are oh so cute, but recently these cute little canines are sending people in 12 states to the hospital. Why? Puppy poop is contaminating people with the potentially deadly Campylobacter bacteria infection that has affected 55 people across 12 states.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of Campylobacter bacteria infection rose from 39 in mid-September to 55 reported this week. Infections have now been reported between September 2016 and October 2017 in Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Where is the bacteria coming from?

This is the same infection humans can get from eating raw or undercooked chicken, or eating foods that have been cross-contaminated by infected poultry products. The source has been tracked to Petland employees, or customers who have purchased a puppy from Petland, shopped at Petland or visited someone who had purchased a puppy from Petland, according to the CDC.

The infection comes from contact with puppy poop, causing symptoms such as diarrhea (sometimes bloody), cramping, abdominal pain and fever within two to five days after exposure. It can last a week without treatment, but it can be deadly for some people who have weak immune systems.

How to prevent puppy poop infection
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching dogs, their food and their poop.
  • Make sure children wash their hands thoroughly after playing with puppies or dogs.
  • Frequently clean the yard of dog poop, keep it out of children's play area, and dispose of it properly.
  • Call your veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness in your puppy or dog, and call your doctor if you notice signs of illness in you.

Read more at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) U.S. National Library of Medicine at
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