Puppies from Petland chain sicken 39

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Campylobacter infections (also known as campylobacteriosis) cause diarrhea, cramping, and fever, board-certified infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., senior associate at the John's Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells SELF.

- Puppies sold at a national pet store chain are believed to be behind a multistate bacteria outbreak that has sickened more than three dozen people. There are now no cases in the New York Area.

The CDC says 12 of the victims are Petland employees, the 27 others recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or live in a home with a puppy sold through Petland. Nine were hospitalized, but the CDC says no deaths have been reported.

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The owner of the Topeka Petland, Stacy Williams, told 13 NEWS their store has not been affected by the outbreak. "These 39 people completed several different questionnaires and one commonality was that they had visited a Petland store in the past week or worked there", Petland's statement read. "Last week the CDC advised Petland to "continue to do what we are already doing" and to continue to educate customers and staff to sanitize their hands after handling our puppies".

They also quoted PetMD stating, "Up to 49 percent of dogs carry campylobacteriosis, shedding it into their feces for other animals to contract".

The Ohio-based company says in a statement that it is working with the CDC in the investigation.

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Sometimes, though, people get sick after coming into contact with the stool of an ill dog or cat.

Like most illnesses, it's the youngest and oldest of the human and animal populations likely to be impacted the most by infection, Maddox said. The bacteria incubates in your body for up to seven days before you develop symptoms, Richard Watkins, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University and an infectious disease specialist in Akron, Ohio, tells SELF. Due to this, CDC estimates that more than 1.3 million Americans acquire the infection every year. The CDC says people typically need antibiotics only if they're immune compromised or at high risk of complications.

To avoid contamination from your pet, CDC recommends you wash your hands thoroughly after touching dogs, their poop or their food. Clearly, people aren't running around eating poop, but in this case, Dr. Adalja suspects people handled dog poop or played with dogs that had some fecal matter containing the bacteria on their bodies and didn't wash their hands afterward.

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