An investigation conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Inspection Service, has traced back the source of the outbreak to #puppies sold in a national pet store chain.
While many cases go unreported, about 14 cases for every 100,000 people are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the CDC.
According to the CDC, illnesses began on September 15, 2016. The most recent illness was reported on September 1, 2017.
There have not been any reported deaths associated with the outbreaks; however, 9 infected individuals have required hospitalization so far. Of the reported case, 12 are Petland employees from four states, and 27 either recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or live in a home with a puppy sold through Petland before illness began. In a statement, Petland said it was advised by the CDC to "continue doing what we are already doing and to continue to educate customer and staff to sanitize their hands after handling our puppies".
The CDC noted that no matter where a puppy comes from, it may carry a campylobacter infection.
All of the infected patients were exposed to the puppies in Petland stores.
Campylobacter doesn't typically spread from person to person, but it can be spread from animal to person.
The CDC also recommends quickly disposing of dog poop using disposable gloves, as well as regular visits to the veterinarian to keep your dog healthy.
The human Campylobacter infection can commonly be acquired through the consumption of raw or undercooked poultry.
The best way to avoid infection through pets is by thorough hand-washing after cleaning up after them and even after playing with them, she said.
For the most part, you can steer clear of the infection by practicing good hand hygiene.
While the exact cause of this outbreak is not known, there are a few possible reasons the puppies could be sick. About 47 percent of raw chicken samples tested in 2011 were positive for Campylobacter, according to the CDC. In a statement, the company writes, "The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland's operating system that would lead to any Campylobacter infection".