If you buy a puppy from Petland stores in one of eight states, including Kansas, it may give you diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and a fever.
Puppies from the national pet store chain are linked to transmitting potentially-deadly Campylobacter, a bacteria that can spread through contact with dog feces, the Centers for Disease Control reported in its inital oubreak alert on Sept. 11. At that time, there were 39 cases of people infected.
In the latest CDC update posted Oct. 3, 55 people have laboratory-confirmed infections, and 13 have been hospitalized. There have been zero deaths. Of the 55 infected in 12 different states, 51 people and eight states are linked to Petland.
Puppies are transmitting the bacteria via their contaminated poop to the humans who handle them.
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“It usually does not spread from one person to another, however, activities such as changing an infected person’s diapers or sexual contact with an infected person can lead to infection,” the CDC reported.
Of those infected, 14 are Petland employees and 35 have either purchased a puppy from Petland, visted a Petland, or visited or lived in a home with a puppy sold through Petland. In addition, one person had sexual contact with a person with an illness linked to the store, four were exposed to puppies of various sources and one had unknown puppy exposure.
The median age of those infected is 23, but ages range from younger than 1 to 86.
The CDC has not released which Petland stores have been linked to the outbreak. There are two Petlands in Wichita.
“Petland is cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address this outbreak,” the CDC said.